Zgodovina tehnoloških prelomov ter njihove družbene in ekonomske posledice / History of Technological Breakthroughs and Their Social and Economic Consequences

Avtor Janez Weiss se sprašuje, kako razumeti prihodnjo tehnološko revolucijo skozi pretekle izkušnje človeških družb z novimi tehnologijami. Devet desetletij nazaj, po moriji prve velike mehanske vojne, je Rihard Kalergi-Coudenhouve v tehnologiji uvidel skrajni triumf človeške nadvlade nad okoljem in njegovimi tisočletnimi omejitvami. Ob odsotnosti boga in etike sta tako homo faber in tehnologija postala pot v eudaimonijo. Uničenja 2. svetovne vojne so izzvala to prepričanje in vodila v zavrnitev racionalnosti kot poti do objektivnosti zunanjega sveta, v nihilizem postmodernističnih subjektivnosti, ki pa le ni omajala položaja tehnologije kot poti v boljšo prihodnost. Zgodovina opozarja, da je nemogoče predvideti bivanjske, etične, družbene in okoljske spremembe, vsakovrstne dolgoročne učinke, ki sledijo tehnološkim revolucijam. In to dejstvo je še posebno pomembno v času razvoja umetne inteligence (AI), enega od vrhov torišča nove tehnološke revolucije. Kakšen caveat bi Ciceronska historia izrekla ob pojavu machina sapiens?

Predstavitev dr. Paška Bilića bo osvetlila koncept tehnološke racionalnosti, ki ga je razvil Herbert Marcuse. Njegova analiza, napisana v 60. letih prejšnjega stoletja, je bila radikalna kritika monopolnega kapitalizma in prevlade enodimenzionalne, napredne industrijske racionalnosti nad človekom in naravo. Danes smo v podobni fazi kapitalističnega razvoja, v katerem podjetja Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple in Microsoft (GAFAM) ustvarjajo oligopolni nadzor nad digitalnimi družbami z uporabo kompleksnih tehničnih sistemov. Sistemi umetne inteligence so diskurzivno predstavljeni kot avtonomni in avtomatizirani, medtem ko je vložek dela, potreben za njihov razvoj, oblikovan kot zgolj računski problem. Hkrati monopolni finančni kapital ustvarja globalne neenakosti med udeleženci, ki jih zanimajo rezultati delovanja teh podjetij (tj. lastniki družb, delavski delničarji, investitorji), in akterji, ki jih neposredno zadevajo poslovni modeli teh podjetij (tj. uporabniki interneta, oglaševalci, regulatorji, nacionalne države).

Author Janez Weiss expands on the possible understanding of the future technological revolution through past experiences of human societies with new technologies. Nine decades ago, after the devastation of the first major mechanical war, Rihard Kalergi-Coudenhouve saw in technology the ultimate triumph of human superstition over the environment and its limitations over the centuries. In the absence of God and ethics, Homo Faber and technology have become the path to eudaimonia. The destruction of the Second World War challenged this belief and led to the refusal of rationality as a path to the objectivity of the outside world, in the nihilism of postmodernist subjectivity, which, however, did not only disrupt the position of technology as a way to a better future. History points out that it is impossible to anticipate living, ethical, social and environmental changes, all kinds of long-term effects that follow technological revolutions. And this fact is especially important at the time of the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI), one of the peaks of the new technological revolution. What caveat would the Ciceronian historia proclaim at the appearance of Machina Sapiens?

Dr. Paško Bilić’s presentation will evoke the concept of technological rationality developed by Herbert Marcuse, whose analysis, written in the 1960s, was a radical critique of monopoly capitalism and the one-dimensional, advanced industrial rationality of dominance over man and nature. Today, we are in a similar stage of capitalist development in which the GAFAM companies (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft) create oligopolistic control over digital societies with the use of complex technical systems. AI systems are discursively presented as autonomous and automated, while the labour input necessary for their development is framed as simply an issue of computing. At the same time, monopoly-finance capital creates global inequalities between the actors interested in the economic performance of these companies (i.e. company owners, workers with stock-based compensations, shareholders, investors), and the agents directly affected by the business models of these companies (i.e. internet users, advertisers, regulators, nation states).

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