9. Critical Review in:

Henry Alexander Wittke

Artificial Intelligence, page 70 - 71

An Approach to Assess the Impact on the Information Economy

1. Edition 2020, ISBN print: 978-3-8288-4459-9, ISBN online: 978-3-8288-7480-0,

Tectum, Baden-Baden
Bibliographic information
Regions that are already struggling to provide for example basic services and infrastructure, implementing this is simply an impossibility, and just another way for poor countries to get left behind (cf. Amadeo 2018; King 2018). As already mentioned, different localities have been considering or experimenting with the concept of a basic income rather than an in come itself. While there are many reasons for welcoming basic income experiments, it has to be recognized as well that these structural connec tions and the dynamic long-term effects of basic income in the wider population can still not be fully captured (cf. Bimbaum 2016; Ito 2018). All in all, the outlined basic income can be seen as a possible solution to a long-term scenario described in chapter seven, even if there is no con sensus about its need and effect on future society. Regarding the exact realization of such a basic income and its financing basis, difficult chal lenges can still be identified and have to be examined more detailed within another research. 9. Critical Review This chapter shall briefly discuss some critical aspects of the arguments presented in this thesis, limited to AI, the theoretical approach deployed, the resulting analysis and therefore on the thesis and its results. The first starting point here is the distinction between weak and strong AI. On the one hand, a better description, and categorization of AI is re quired, considering the weak definitions used today. However, the cate gorization undertaken here is also vague and artificial. For one reason it is vague due to the lack of real-world experience with AI. A large num ber of use cases certainly already exists, but they will rise fast and will, therefore, allow better analysis and a more precise categorization of AI forms and characteristics in the future. But is also artificial for the lack of a very clear definition of boundaries, i.e. where precisely do weak AI end and strong AI start. Moreover, in practice, the borders are likely to more fluent, the strength and scope of AI depending on the technology, depth and finally the intelligence of an application. In this conjunction, it shall be noted that today it is still disputed if strong AI actually does already exist. Such a consensus exists on weak AI, but the focus of this work was placed on the effects of strong AI. A discussion of a technological phenomenon which does not exist accord 70 ing to contributors to the debate might be considered as a weakness. However, such line of argument might be subject to AI definition: Some would call forms of AI as weak which are, however, labeled as strong AI in this thesis. Moreover, an argument that - subject to the AI definition used - strong AI does not yet actually exist in the information economy does not preclude that it will be deployed. This needs to be verified in the years to come. Considering the concept of the information society used in this thesis, the criticism that the concept is too broad, encompassing while unprecise and often rather used as an “umbrella” term is valid. The ques tion is if the concept of the information society is actually a concept, given even the seemingly absence of a consensus of on definitions and terminology as argued in chapter three. Further, the concept has been developed in the second half of the 20th century. Although the concept seeks - by and large - to carry forward developments in society incorporating information technology, by no means it is assured that the concept would hold in the 21st century, in particular considering the ever faster speed of technological advance ment and the potential application of strong AI. Further research must show if the concept of the information society can be further adapted to current and future developments or if an entirely new approach is re quired to enhance our understanding and to positively contribute to the academic and non-academic debate. Further criticism may be applied to other concepts used in this paper, such as the information economy, information sector or the knowledge worker. Considering, for example, the information sector it may be ar gued that not just a qualitative but also quantitative analysis should be conducted, researching the real economy using e.g. statistical means. Then a better assessment on the validity and viability of concept could be made. This also holds for the concepts information worker and knowledge worker. Looking at the analysis conducted here, a much broader but also deeper analysis is warranted to better be able to confirm or weaken the validity of hypotheses brought forward. For instance, would industry sectors could be analyzed in far more detail, thus improving the method while yielding more insights. The discussion on the effects of AI also needs to better incorpo rate other countervailing arguments as could be done within the scope of this research. For instance, some contributors argue that strong AI will 71

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The ongoing and seemingly unstoppable digital transformation brings forth new options, opportunities but also challenges to individuals, organizations, companies and societies alike. Governments are alarmed, realizing the potential consequences on the workforce, while also being apparently helpless against uncontrollable and powerful digital players such as Google or Facebook. As Henry Wittke shows, recent breakthroughs in the field of machine learning increase the potential of Artificial Intelligence to disrupt the world’s largest industries. Wittke attempts to provide a basic framework of what constitutes AI as well as to assess its impact on the Information Economy. What happens in case of rising mass unemployment or social inequality? What will be the effect on labor as a value system for today’s societies? Could the entire notion of capitalism be questioned in the wake of AI? The book aims to draw conclusions and give recommendations to policymakers.