“The hand mill gives you society with the feudal lord; the steam mill society with the industrial capitalist,” Karl Marx once said. And he was right. We have seen over and over again throughout history how technological inventions determine the dominant mode of production and with it the type of political authority present in a society.

So what will artificial intelligence give us? Who will capitalise on this new technology, which is not only becoming a dominant productive force in our societies (just like the hand mill and the steam mill once were) but, as we keep reading in the news, also appears to be “fast escaping our control”?

Could AI take on a life of its own, like so many seem to believe it will, and single-handedly decide the course of our history? Or will it end up as yet another technological invention that serves a particular agenda and benefits a certain subset of humans?

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