Interpretation Machines
Contradictions of "Artificial Intelligence" in 21st-Century Capitalism

by Larry Lohmann

first published 13 July 2020

What is business getting itself into in its embrace of so-called artificial intelligence? What is it getting the world into? In approaching these questions, it may be useful to set aside the term "artificial intelligence" in favour of "interpretation machines." To do so, argues this version of an essay published in Socialist Register 2021, is to point to ecological and political continuities between 19th-century and 21st-century automation -- continuities that may help clarify strategies for popular struggle.

A companion illustrated powerpoint is also available above, prepared for the Marxist Education Project. The video of the presentation can be found at


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