Jun 5, 2021 - Technology

Grimes: Artificial intelligence is the pathway to "genuine equality"

Illustration of the singer Grimes in a Soviet-style poster with a Mars colony behind her and raised robot fists

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Musician Grimes is ready to drop some knowledge: AI is the pathway to the workers' utopia.

The big picture: Grimes' vision has a name — Fully Automated Luxury Communism (FALC) — and it kind of makes sense, provided you forget about the meaning of all of those words.

Driving the news: In a TikTok video posted earlier this week, Grimes told her followers that "AI is actually the fastest path to communism."

  • "We could totally get to a situation where nobody has to work, everybody is provided for with a comfortable state of being, comfortable living," she continued.
  • "AI could automate all the farming, weed out systemic corruption, thereby bringing us to, as close as possible, genuine equality."

Between the lines: FALC was coined by the writer Aaron Bastani in a 2019 book of the same name that essentially posited this question: What if we could all live in "Star Trek"?

  • In "Star Trek," all material needs are taken care of by advanced technology and the limitless energy produced by, I think, dilithium crystals?
  • "Living on the USS Enterprise, visiting far-flung planets, going on adventures with your friends while wearing a modular outfit and a cute pin," Annie Lowrey wrote in The Atlantic in 2019. "Now that’s Fully Automated Luxury Communism."

The catch: There are a few, foremost among them the fact that so far AI and automation have done more to increase economic inequality than narrow it.

The bottom line: If nothing else, putting the "luxury" in Fully Automated Luxury Communism puts a happier, more tech-friendly spin on a movement that, historically speaking, has not had a great track record.

  • Because, as Grimes put it in her TikTok, "enforced farming is really not a vibe."
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