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AI Commons

Online lecture by Oana Mateescu

November 27th, 2020, at 7 pm.

In 2019, Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiels made waves by stating that “AI is literally communist” while a few years earlier the accelerationist philosopher Nick Land set out to demonstrate “the teleological identity of capitalism and artificial intelligence”. Few other recent technologies have exercised so much ideological fascination, not to mention inspiring an ever-growing output of policy papers on governance and ethics. This talk maps out some of the key issues in contemporary debates that project the political economic future of AI beyond the current moment of platform capitalism. It reviews the positions of left accelerationism, postcapitalism and fully automated luxury communism, focusing on the major blind spot: ownership and control of the means of production. It concludes by emphasizing the increasing push towards imagining AI as commons, while acknowledging the ease with which tech platforms can stimulate open-source AI tools and re-appropriate their products.

Oana Mateescu is an assistant researcher in the Frontlines of Value project, University of Bergen. In 2017, she obtained her PhD in Anthropology and History at the University of Michigan. Her dissertation articulates a political economic forensics of Romanian forest commons, focusing on the calculability of distributive regimes and the temporal politics of evidentiary artifacts in property claim-making. She has taught for several years at the University of Bucharest, the National University of Arts and most recently at the Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania.

The event is part of Orbiting Modernity: from the steam engine to galactic debris project developed by tranzit. ro/Cluj in 2020-2021.

The starting point of the project is the basis of an educational research program that aims to expose how global ecology and the impact of human activity on the environment are over-determined by the structural transformations of modern society.

Coordinators: Alex Cistelecan, Dana Domsodi, Attila Szigeti, Attila Tordai-S.

Past event:
Gareth Dale (Brunel University, Londra) - Can we cool a burning planet? Degrowth, technology, and the Green New Deal

Natalia Buier - {Classless train: technology, infrastructure and capitalist ecomodernization

The lecture will be held in English and the link will be available on the Facebook* page on the 27th of November 2020.