Is Marxist Class Struggle Making a Comeback?

**The Relevance of Marx and Engels’ Analysis to the Class Struggle of Artificial Intelligence**

The Use of AI: A Growing Divide between Leaders and Employees

In today’s society, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) within companies has resulted in a growing class struggle. This division can be compared to the historical class struggles analyzed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in The Communist Manifesto. Our recent study conducted across 18 countries with 13,000 individuals reveals a significant divide between leaders (the “dominant class”) and employees (the “proletariat”) concerning their attitudes towards AI.

Regarding the use of AI, 80% of leaders claim to utilize generative AI several times a week. However, only 20% of employees have the same level of AI integration in their work lives. This discrepancy illustrates a clear gap between those in positions of power and the rest of the workforce.

Training Disparities: Executives vs. Employees

Another area where this class struggle manifests is in training. While 86% of respondents acknowledge the need for training on the impact of AI on their jobs, only 14% of employees feel adequately trained. This figure is three times higher among executives, indicating a significant disparity in access to AI training opportunities.

Employee Concerns and Responsible AI Usage

The anxieties of employees regarding their company’s use of AI are prevalent. Merely 29% of employees believe that their workplace utilizes AI responsibly, while executives exhibit a significantly higher level of confidence at 69%. This discrepancy highlights the growing concerns and mistrust among the proletariat towards the dominant class’s handling of AI.

The Call for Regulation and the Role of the State

In response to these fears and concerns, 75% of employees advocate for increased regulation of AI, signaling a desire for the intervention of the State. This call for regulation aligns with the recommendations of Marx and Engels, emphasizing the need for active participation and governance by a central entity.

The Importance of Continuous Training and Adaptation

To address these challenges, it becomes crucial to prioritize training in a knowledge-based society. However, it is important to note that sporadic training sessions on specific AI tools are insufficient. Instead, continuous and adaptive training on ever-evolving AI systems is necessary.

The Potential of Generative AI and Optimism

Generative AIs offer an opportunity to train teams in proficiently interacting with these systems. Encouragingly, our study demonstrates that teams using AI experience an increase in optimism, with the proportion of optimists doubling and the number of worried individuals halving. This finding underscores the potential of AI to empower and boost the morale of employees.

The Class Struggle and the Urgency to Act

Without collective action, a crisis between the “bourgeoisie” of AI (those with capital in the form of knowledge and training) and its neo-proletariat may ensue. Inequalities are rapidly accelerating, with an elite benefiting from expanding job prospects and profitable investments, while the rest of the population sees only diminishing opportunities. Urgent action is needed to prevent digital systems from imposing a new form of enslavement on individuals, similar to the previous era of machine-driven labor.

Creating a Middle Class of AI

Addressing this challenge requires the development of a “middle class of AI.” Some companies have already begun using generative AI to provide training opportunities for technicians in roles that were previously inaccessible to them. However, achieving this vision will require a concerted effort from all sectors of society. Accessible education and responsible, democratic control over AI will be crucial in building a more equitable future.

From Class Struggle to a New “End of History”

AI’s class struggle challenges Francis Fukuyama’s notion of the “end of history,” which posits that liberal democracy represents the final stage of ideological evolution. While the Marxist class struggle was largely resolved during the industrial revolution, the rise of AI calls for a new equilibrium. Through comprehensive education and training, AI technology has the potential to democratize access, regardless of an individual’s class. By providing equal opportunities to learn and harness AI’s power, we can uphold the values of liberal democracy and potentially mitigate the socioeconomic divide prevalent in society today.

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