In the AI of the Beholder

Artificial Intelligence in its Capitalist Context


  • Memet Uludağ Socialist Workers Network


There are many readily available definitions of Artificial Intelligence (AI). A simple Google search will provide endless results ranging from the deeply technical and scientific, to descriptions in more understandable language. From TV ads to academia, AI has suddenly become a major talking point. Since the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT or Google's Bard, it has also taken the world of popular culture by storm. But AI is not new. The concept, science and technology of AI have been evolving since the 1950s. Hollywood movies have played their part in popularising the ‘fantastic’ world of AI, as has the mainstream media. This article looks at the historical context around technological advancement and tries to take stock of some of the hype around it. Will Artificial Intelligence be the game changer it is being heralded as? To what extent will it change our societies? How will it affect workers and work practices? How will it affect people’s lives? None of these questions can be answered definitively, of course, but with so much written on the subject, this article is meant to give readers an introduction to AI in its essentials.