Future

Artificial Intelligence Will Kill Capitalism

And it will happen sooner than you think...

Game, set and match?
Laurent Alexandre

-OpEd-

PARIS — For a long time, artificial intelligence was little more than science fiction — now it's now just a matter of time until it becomes reality. The boom of computing capabilities have seen the power of servers multiplied a billion times over in the span of just 31 years, making it likely that an artificial intelligence superior to our own will emerge in the coming decades.

The GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon) Internet giants, as well as IBM, have all been investing massively in the field. Leading the pack is Google, whose chief engineer Ray Kurzweil believes that a self-aware AI a billion times more powerful than all of the human brains on the planet will crush human intelligence as early as 2045. "We will make machines that can reason, think and make things better than we do," adds Sergey Brin, one of Google's co-founders.

This is a disturbing prospect. Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, says "artificial intelligence is potentially more dangerous" than nuclear weapons. To compete with robots, Google proposes transhumanism, i.e. turning humans into cyborgs.

Kurzweil predicts that, by 2035, we'll have nanobots implanted into our brains and connected to our neurons to "upgrade" both our mental and physical capabilities. The point will be to prevent us from being (too) inferior to machines and thus protect us from being turned into their slaves, in a Matrix-like scenario. Upgrading technologies will be the only way to maintain a certain autonomy. Paradoxically, the ultimate tool to avoid the human race's vassalization would also be the instrument of its suicide. The human-AI hybrid would indeed mean the death knell for the 1.0 biological human.


"Cyborg activist" Neil Harbisson — Photo: Dan Wilton/The Red Bulletin

Artificial intelligence could cause another significant casualty: money. In our meritocratic societies, the difference in intellectual abilities are, rightly or wrongly, the primary reason for the wage and capital gap. But AI would break this very notion. Eventually, human intelligence will be ridiculous compared to that of machines. So the question is, in such a world will we accept that some people earn 1,000 times more than others? If we accept Google's brain nanobots, what will be the legitimacy of any revenue gap between people, since our performances will be linked to the power of our brain aids, and not to our inherent qualities?

Besides, a society driven by artificial intelligence will be a society without work, which will render the mere function of money useless. If we're able to emulate a billion cancer scientists on an array of hard drives in a few seconds, what will be the value of a human oncologist?

All goods and services will be created and produced by machines in an infinitely more efficient way that any human being can, even an upgraded one. The meritocratic system will go up in smoke.

And how to organize the distribution of capital if merit is impossible? The best solution will without a doubt be the equal redistribution of goods and services among individuals, a communism 2.0 of sorts in which everybody will be provided for according to their needs and not according to their work. It will be artificial intelligence — not economists like Thomas Piketty — that puts and end to the wage gap. Capitalism simply won't survive intelligent machines.

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La Sagrada Familia Delayed Again — Blame COVID-19 This Time

Hopes were dashed by local officials to see the completion of the iconic Barcelona church in 2026, in time for the 100th anniversary of the death of its renowned architect Antoni Guadí.

Work on La Sagrada Familia has been delayed because of the pandemic

By most accounts, it's currently the longest-running construction project in the world. And now, the completion of work on the iconic Barcelona church La Sagrada Familia, which began all the way back in 1882, is going to take even longer.

Barcelona-based daily El Periodico daily reports that work on the church, which began as the vision of master architect Antoni Gaudí, was slated to be completed in 2026. But a press conference Tuesday, Sep. 21 confirmed that the deadline won't be met, in part because of delays related to COVID-19. Officials also provided new details about the impending completion of the Mare de Déu tower (tower of the Virgin).

El Periódico - 09/22/2021

El Periodico daily reports on the latest delay from what may be the longest-running construction project in the world.

One tower after the other… Slowly but surely, La Sagrada Familia has been growing bigger and higher before Barcelonians and visitors' eager eyes for nearly 140 years. However, all will have to be a bit more patient before they see the famous architectural project finally completed. During Tuesday's press conference, general director of the Construction Board of the Sagrada Familia, Xavier Martínez, and the architect director, Jordi Faulí, had some good and bad news to share.

As feared, La Sagrada Familia's completion date has been delayed. Because of the pandemic, the halt put on the works in early March when Spain went into a national lockdown. So the hopes are dashed of the 2026 inauguration in what would have been the 100th anniversary of Gaudi's death.

Although he excluded new predictions of completion until post-COVID normalcy is restored - no earlier than 2024 -, Martínez says: "Finishing in 2030, rather than being a realistic forecast, would be an illusion, starting the construction process will not be easy," reports La Vanguardia.

But what's a few more years when you already have waited 139, after all? However delayed, the construction will reach another milestone very soon with the completion of the Mare de Déu tower (tower of the Virgin), the first tower of the temple to be completed in 44 years and the second tallest spire of the complex. It will be crowned by a 12-pointed star which will be illuminated on December 8, Immaculate Conception Day.

Next would be the completion of the Evangelist Lucas tower and eventually, the tower of Jesus Christ, the most prominent of the Sagrada Familia, reaching 172.5 meters thanks to an illuminated 13.5 meters wide "great cross." It will be made of glass and porcelain stoneware to reflect daylight and will be illuminated at night and project rays of light.

La Sagrada Familia through the years

La Sagrada Familia, 1889 - wikipedia

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