Philosopher of technology and author of Life after Google George Gilder, a pioneer of supply-side economics and a co-founder of the Discovery Institute, stresses the importance of openness to creativity for economic growth. He contrasted that openness with Google Marxism:
Levin: What is Google Marxism?
Gilder: Well, Marx’s great error, his real mistake, was to imagine that the industrial revolution of the 19th century, all those railways and “dark, satanic mills” and factories and turbine and the beginning of electricity represented the final human achievement in productivity so in the future what would matter is not the creation of wealth but the redistribution of wealth.
Well, Google comes back today and says that its search engines, its machine learning, its artificial intelligence, it robotics, its biotech is the ultimate human attainment and in the future most of us will be able to retire to beaches while Sergei Brin and Larry Page of Google fly off to remote planets with Elon Musk in a winner take all universe. … Each generation of technologists imagines that their technological vision whether it was railroads or space flight or artificial intelligence is the final attainment and this is what socialism is about. It’s about saying that what we have now is all we are going to get, that we know as much as we need to know to plan the entire future. And that is fundamentally hostile to human creativity.
Levin: This mindset, Google Marxism, it cut across all these platforms though, doesn’t it? Facebook, Twitter, Silicon Valley … you’ve referenced that in the past as Silicon Valley Marxism.
Gilder: Well, there are a lot of philosophers and philosopher kings in Silicon Valley and when they pronounce on public issues, they imagine that their technology is an eschaton, is an ultimate thing. And it actually usurps human minds. My friend Ray Kurzweil introduced the concept of the Singularity, the moment where our computer technology would exceed human minds on all dimensions. The technology would produce new machines and new inventions that would leave humans far behind.
Levin: Is that possible?
Gilder: No, because artificial intelligence is a machine. And remember, I stressed surprise. If machines surprise you, they are probably breaking down. Machines are really deterministic almost by definition and determinism, in information theory, which underlies all of Silicon Valley — information is what is not determined by the machine. Information is the creativity of capitalism.
As of 6:00 pm ET, Life after Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy was #9 at Amazon.
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See also: Imagining life after Google A compendium of comments from reviews
Karl Marx’s eerie AI prediction
Google branches out into politics