The convergence of robotics and artificial intelligence will have nothing to do with Russians, but everything to do with American technocrats and their military industrial cousins who are all too eager to reclaim control of the societal narrative.
Opinion — The only apparatus that could hope to match the soullessness of the psychopaths that run our planet is manifested in the rise of artificial intelligence, paired with robots, which press reports indicate will replace vast sections of the beleaguered human workforce within decades.
It is particularly ironic, then, that the plutocratic class has developed an intense phobia of Twitter bots. In this author’s view, their intense abhorrence can be read in Jungian terms as the subconscious projection of the establishment’s shadow. That is, the more the elite protest about the use of bots on social media, the more they are likely to use such technologies and similar tools to attack the very human public that they constantly misidentify as inhuman bots.
The concept for this article arose after a minor furor erupted on Twitter regarding an application designed by Robhat Labs intended to identify bots disseminating political propaganda, which was found to have been incorrectly classifying many real human social media accounts as bots, myself included. Excellent independent media thinkers have reported extensively on the issue of false attribution of dissent to Russian bots, including Adam Carter with his coverage of Hamilton 68, published via Disobedient Media.
The establishment’s deranged fantasies regarding Twitter trolls culminated recently in Robert Mueller’s indictment of members of a Russian click-bait farm. Disobedient Media and other independent media figures were quick to point out that the indictment was an utter joke.
The establishment’s hysteria regarding bots on social media unintentionally provides key insight into their view of the masses they have abused for so long. Calling your opponent a bot dehumanizes them from the start. It strips the subject of the essence of their humanity, their right to free speech and dissent. Going further, applying the label to the majority of real human beings who disagree with the corporate narrative robs the entire public of their right to voice an opinion.
This metaphor was borne out literally when the NYC Board of Elections illegally purged over 200,000 Democratic primary voters from the rolls, stripping their voice, illegally, in real time. As Jimmy Dore noted in a recent segment of the Jimmy Dore Show, though the Board has admitted that this illegal purge took place, there will be no hearing in open court on the matter whatsoever. Outright voter fraud has become business-as-usual in our deepening plutocracy.
There are a plethora of additional examples of repression of speech in the name of combatting bots and fake news. These stretch from the alteration of Google’s algorithms to decrease the likelihood of searches returning anti-establishment websites, Youtube’s demonetization of anti establishment voices, Twitter’s censorship of roughly half of all tweets that included the #DNCLeak hashtag, and Facebook’s intense censorship of independent media – to name only a few examples.
What else does the elite’s conversion of citizens into botnets tell us about their worldview? Like an unintentional poker player’s tell, their obsession reveals the synthetic character of their own technocratic mindset, and the method by which they will attack and seek to control the masses.
Put as simply as possible, the plutocratic fascination with everything inhuman reflects their own deeply psychopathic character. This is clear when appraising prominent figures within the establishment who control corporate press and the dissemination of information on search engines. Many of these figures simultaneously spearhead the development of artificial intelligence and the trend towards replacing the work of human beings with robotics.
Principal among these mega-wealthy titans whose work includes collaboration with the intelligence community and the ownership of entire legacy press outlets is Jeff Bezos. He stands on the pinnacle of an empire including Amazon’s CIA contract, ownership of the Washington Post, and direct participation in the operation of the deep state, sitting on the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Advisory Board, headed by Google and Alphabet’s former executive, Eric Schmidt.
Watch | How Amazon Is Screwing America
To top it all off, as Jimmy Dore recently pointed out, Amazon does not pay taxes. Dore has consistently reported on the serious problems surrounding Bezos, including his position on the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Advisory Board. Additionally, Dore has extensively covered the absolutely appalling working conditions Amazon’s employees are subjected to.
Given all this, It should be no surprise to note that Amazon is on the frontier of creating shopping experiences that require no cashiers. What is better for the establishment than a population of used and abused discontents who are forced to somehow survive on slave wages as their taxes are spent policing a global empire of death? An actually inhuman workforce that requires no standard in working conditions, no pay, no sleep, no food, no benefits, no maternity leave, and no soul.
CBS described how the first cashier-less store, Amazon Go, functions: “By combining computer vision, machine learning algorithms and sensors, the online retail giant can tell what people have purchased and charges their Amazon account. If someone puts an item back, they aren’t charged.” In other words, cashier-less stores represent the surveillance state’s wet dream as much as they are cost effective for corporate overlords.
The Verge wrote of the dire implications: “Amazon… could potentially track you and your phone as you browse the store to track items you buy. By looking at your movements in the store as you shop, Amazon could analyze items you may have noticed or were potentially interested in buying (i.e., picking something up off a shelf and putting it back down.) Combine this with your Amazon.com browsing activities and the company could gear up to serve even more recommended products wherever you’re online.”
Although at this time the store is still stocked by human beings, that may not be the case in years to come, with robots already being developed for the task of shelf-stocking. Given Jeff Bezos’ CIA contract, this movement to remove the last vestiges of underpaid employment and replace it with robots and artificial-intelligence-fueled-hyper-surveillance should terrify the public. With this dehumanizing context in mind, the corporate press fascination with twitter botnets is particularly interesting.
The Washington Post enthused over the coming robotics revolution in an article titled: “Yes, the robots will steal our jobs. And that’s fine.” Such sentiments from Bezos’ very own paper of note are as unconvincing as they are unsurprising. The Washington Post report has the gall to compare those concerned about the potential outcomes of the rise of robotics with 1800’s Luddites breaking looms amidst the industrial revolution. This horrifying comparison is unintentionally accurate in the darkest sense, in that Salon directly compared Amazon’s workplace practices with the Pennsylvania machine-tool industry in the 1890s. Salon wrote:
Amazon’s system of employee monitoring is the most oppressive I have ever come across and combines state-of-the-art surveillance technology with the system of “functional foreman,” introduced by Taylor in the workshops of the Pennsylvania machine-tool industry in the 1890s… Sarah O’Connor describes how, at Amazon’s center at Rugeley, England, Amazon tags its employees with personal sat-nav (satellite navigation) computers that tell them the route they must travel to shelve consignments of goods, but also set target times for their warehouse journeys and then measure whether targets are met….
… Machines measured whether the packers were meeting their targets for output per hour and whether the finished packages met their targets for weight and so had been packed “the one best way.” But alongside these digital controls there was a team of Taylor’s “functional foremen,” overseers in the full nineteenth-century sense of the term, watching the employees every second to ensure that there was no “time theft,” in the language of Walmart. On the packing lines there were six such foremen… Workers would be reprimanded for speaking to one another or for pausing to catch their breath (Verschnaufpause) after an especially tough packing job.”
Additional reports of Amazon’s shameful abuse of its workers abound, and would take much more space than this entire article to detail in full. Suffice to say that the future for the American workforce appears extremely dire if Amazon is the example for future growth. One should expect zero compassion from silicon valley despots who transform their workplaces into miniaturized deep states.
Silicon Valley giant Elon Musk claims that the inevitable job loss caused by robotics will force the implementation of a Universal basic Income. However, it seems utterly absurd to expect that the same government that refuses to enact universal healthcare would happily go along with this kind of humanitarian solution. Given Amazon’s disgusting treatment of its workforce, it seems illogical to trust that the technocratic class would push the matter for the benefit of the public good.
Robotics are only one aspect of the future envisioned by our deep-state-friendly technocrats. As independent Journalist Caitlin Johnstone keenly noted, Julian Assange has often spoken out on the dangers of artificial intelligence and its escalating, insidious influence on social media. Her description of the perfect storm of control over social media via artificially disseminated social discourse is already being borne out, and includes a significant tweet from Assange:
Johnstone deftly summarized the problem: “Imagine going back to a world like the Middle Ages where you only knew the things your king wanted you to know, except you could still watch innocuous kitten videos on Youtube. That appears to be where we may be headed, and if that happens the possibility of any populist movement arising to hold power to account may be effectively locked out from the realm of possibility forever.”
Likewise, in response to Robhat Lab’s incorrect designation of this author and others as “political propaganda bots,” Adam Carter astutely observed: “Machine learning is great. Unless… You’re just teaching the model through your own biases. In which case it becomes a false legitimization of those biases and can then be used to automate the process of branding people according to such biases… then it gets messy.”
We are fast approaching a looming botpocalypse, an event horizon from which there is no return and in which entire sectors of human employment become obsolete, making the effects of the loss of manufacturing jobs seem like child’s play. We will see a concurrent technological zero-point in which artificial intelligence and deep state surveillance become so pervasive that, as Assange has warned, it will be impossible to perceive or delineate within our daily experience.
This convergence of robotics and artificial intelligence will have nothing to do with Russians, but everything to do with American technocrats and their military industrial cousins who are all too eager to reclaim control of the societal narrative and convert humanity into nothing more than literal and metaphorical machines.
Top Photo | R. A. Di Ieso/Vocativ