--classstrugggle-flipmag CS June-2018 MKP (1) - Page 18

Artificial Intelligence : Science in the Service of Capital In capitalist society, said Karl Marx, science becomes “a productive force distinct from labour and pressed into the service of capital”. In the era of monopoly capitalism, ie. Imperialism, scientific research is more organized than ever before, but always with the overriding aim of private profit and devoted increasingly to war. As the scientific research needs today huge infrastructure, the monopoly capital is providing this to gain property rights over the knowledge accumulated by the toil of scientific intellectuals through the system of patent rights. This is imposed on the people of world through TRIPS negotiations of WTO. Thus scientific knowledge became the private property of the giant monopoly corporations, which is being used to augment their profits. The bourgeois education system separates the training of natural scientists into various branches so that it becomes difficult for them to acquire a theoretical grasp of natural sciences as a whole and receives no training in the study of human society. Conversely social and historical studies are so organized to exclude natural sciences. One cannot say that science and technology itself has class character, but it becomes a cudgel at the hands of exploiting ruling classes to exploit and oppress the people. Many of the scientists defend this situation by saying that their concern is with the advancement of knowledge for its own sake and not with social consequences of their work. But as the social crisis becomes pronounced under the monopoly capitalist system, many of them are realizing that their work is serving the interests of capital and not those of humanity. The environmental degradation caused 18 by the misuse of technology by capitalism is one instance of such realization and the scientific community started protesting the use of technology for private gains at the expense of society. From its inception, capitalism has transformed every development in science and technology into an instrument of human oppression and slaughter. The introduction of cotton gin ushered in social misery of 19 th century slums of London and Manchester, as recorded by Fredrick Engels. The Spinning Jenny revived slavery in America. The airplane was converted into a method of killing people through “strategic bombing” as they called it. And the limitless energy created by the nuclear fission was turned into a means of destroying entire societies, which even today is being used as a bullying weapon to cow down the people of the world. The monopoly capitalists who rule the society turns every techno- logical and scientific innovation into a weapon to suppress the working class in their country and against countries they seek to conquer and suppress through military means. The latest such innovation is artificial intelligence (AI). The concept of what defines AI has changed over time, but at the core there has always been the idea of building machines which are capable of thinking like humans. Human beings have proven uniquely capable of interpreting the world around us and using the information we pick up to effect change. AI can be thought of as simulating the capacity for abstract, creative, deductive thought – and particularly the ability to learn – using the digital, binary logic of computers. Research and development work in AI is split between two branches. One is labelled “applied AI” which uses these principles of simulating human thought to carry out one specific task. The other is known as “generalised AI” – which seeks to develop machine intelli- gences that can turn their hands to any task, much like a person. Research into applied, specialised AI is already providing breakthroughs in fields of study from quantum physics where it is used to model and predict the behaviour of systems comprised of billions of subatomic particles, to medicine where it being used to diagnose patients based on genomic data. In industry, it is employed in the financial world for uses ranging from fraud detection to improving customer service by predicting what services customers will need. In manufacturing it is used to manage workforces and production processes as well as for predicting faults before they occur, therefore enabling predictive maintenance. In the consumer world more and more of the technology we are adopting into our everyday lives is becoming powered by AI – from smart phone assistants like Apple’s Siri and Google’s Google Assistant, to self-driving and autonomous cars. Generalised AI is far away – to carry out a complete simulation of the human brain would require both a more complete understanding of the organ than we currently have, a [ܙH\][\[\˜[[ۛH]Z[XH\X\\˂]]X^HHH\H܂ۙ][HYY]X\]\XH\][ˈB][\][ۈو\]\\XHۛۈ\]\[ܜXœ\ܜ\HZ[\YۙY›[ܙHYXY[H[Z[\[][]܂K[\[\X\Px&\\Y