Capitalism Can Not Survive the Singularity

Capitalism Can Not Survive the Singularity

Brett King 06/10/2022
Capitalism Can Not Survive the Singularity

Super AI will finally teach us we don’t need money.


An image pained by the DALL-E 2 AI (Credit: DALL-E 2 project)

There are four phases to the emergence of AI. The first incantation of simple artificial intelligence was what we call “expert systems” in the old IT lingua franca. An attempt to codify expert behavioral responses into a system that is trying to duplicate the capabilities of said expert. The ultimate demonstration of such an expert system was IBM Deep Blue’s chess series against the grandmaster Garry Kasparov, which successfully defeated the human world champion in 1996.


Google has already faced claims of a sentient AI earlier this year (source: The Guardian)

The final stage of AI development, from the perspective of the human race at least, is the emergence of super or hyper-intelligent AI or AIs. Even a single hyper-AI would conceivably have a higher order intelligence than the entire human race collectively. An AI that could unlock the secrets of the universe, but at the same time may regard humanity as simply superfluous, or as the greatest threat to machine intelligence. At least if the movies are to be believed.

The Singularity is Breakaway AI Intelligence


A technological singularity will change everything we know about AI and our Universe around us

The primary issue for humanity with super AI is coming to grips with an intelligence that is clearly superior and can outwit us at every turn because of its intellectual prowess. This form of AI will present massive challenges to humanity, not only technologically but philosophically. An AI that can answer the question as to whether god exists. An AI that could cure every disease on the planet and grant all of us immortality biologically or digitally. An AI that could transform every aspect of human life on the planet.

The Elimination of the Economy?

One area that AI and engineering advances is already making eminently more affordable is space travel. Once we can set up a base on the moon, mining water ice from Shackleton Crater, the cost of exploration of the solar system plummets. The primary costs of space exploration today relate to simply leaving the Earth’s gravity well. Once we establish a lunar base, those costs largely disappear, enabling us to think very differently about the resources available to us off-world.


The Psyche-16 Asteroid is worth more than 100,000x current global GDP (cc; author’s own)

Asteroid mining could produce a single asteroid that would be more valuable than 100,000 years of global financial activity based on our current GDP. One Asteroid amongst millions. What happens when a single asteroid like that enters the global commodities markets? They collapse and are worthless overnight. Assets become worthless because we can now populate the solar system and beyond, and the abundance produced by these highly automated societies will eliminate scarcity, both core elements of capitalism and the monetary systems we live by today. AI will make such advancements achievable.


Future humans will look at Capitalism like we look at stone age agrarian societies.

Scary? I’m not sure why it needs to be. But any change to systems like those that define humanity today will likely produce resistance writ large before it eventually becomes inevitable, that’s the truly scary piece — that this change will produce heated conflict and disruptive shifts in society that itself we must first survive in order to thrive.

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Brett King

FinTech Expert

Brett King is a futurist, best selling author, award winning speaker and host of a globally recognized radio show. He is also co-founder and CEO of Moven, a New York-based $200m mobile banking startup with over a million users. He is widely regarded as one of the top 5 global influencers in financial services, and his book Augmented was cited by China's President Xi Jinping as recommended reading on artificial intelligence. He advised the Obama administration on the Future of Banking, and has spoken on the future in 50 countries in the last 3 years. Brett focuses on how technology is disrupting business, changing behaviour and influencing society. He has fronted TED conferences, given opening keynotes for Wired, Singularity University’s Exponential Finance, The Economist, SIBOS and many more. He appears as a commentator on CNBC and has appeared regularly on the likes of BBC, ABC, FOX, Bloomberg and more. His radio show, Breaking Banks, began in May 2013. It was the first global show and podcast on FinTech, and has grown to be the most popular with an audience in 140 countries/ 3.6 million listeners.


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