Capital’s Artificial Intellect Becoming Uber’s Means of Autonomous Immaterial Production

In: Historical Materialism
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  • 1 Faculty of Information and Media Studies, Western University, London, Ontario

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Abstract

The global path of capitalist development is continuously transformed as a result of the production and integration of advanced information and communication technologies (ICTs) within various forms of production. The first half of this paper conceptualises ICTs as capital’s appropriation and objectification of the productive forces of the general intellect in ‘the general artificial intellect’, a category that refers to the total processing power of networked ICTs in global society. The second half of the paper analyses Uber’s development of the elements of capital’s artificial intellect as the cybernetic means of real subsumption in its immaterial production process. The paper concludes that Uber’s development of autonomous vehicles is an example of the global trend in transport automation that could raise the organic composition of capital of the transport industry, which I suggest would advance the stage of real subsumption toward a third and final stage of autonomous subsumption.

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