Monthly Archives: September 2022

Capitalism as neural network

Peter Eckersley died recently. I didn’t know anything about him, but two bloggers I follow independently eulogized him so I went down the rabbit hole.

He had an insight regarding the difference between intelligence and wisdom; the former as the ability to optimize to a goal, the latter the ability to determine goals. He started an organization called the AI Objectives Institute to push some thinking around the determination of good goals to apply AI to.

A second insight was the parallel between AI as we currently constitute it (back propagation, …) and capitalism as a system of optimization. Not just an analogy, it turns out, there are structural elements of each type of system that are he same (back propagation of price signals, …) that allow him to claim that capitalism is an AI system. So then he goes on to start thinking about applying the same sorts of mitigation that are used in AI to reign in unwanted behaviors.

Interesting guy.