The breakneck speed of technological advancement and the fever for automation have resulted in these self-contained decision-makers worming their way into all aspects of life; algorithms aren’t just the property of social media news feeds anymore, they’re also used to predict consumer habits, make investments, and even determine courtroom decisions. China, for example, is in the process of rolling out a system of ‘social credit-scoring’ in which data collection and analysis techniques will be used to give each citizen a score. … Though this system is still highly experimental, it is a testament to the widespread datafication of the modern world and the increased primacy of algorithms and machine-learning in shaping our day-to-day experiences.—Stuart Montgomery, “What’s in an Algorithm? The Problem of the Black Box”
The first thing that the reader must understand is that despite the global and often diffuse nature of the expanding World Online network, the ideology/religion of Dataism and its Internet-of-(All)-Things demand central planning akin to Marxist doctrine. Granted the other features of this network are capitalist in nature, but it is unsurprising that the Chinese model is viewed as most desirable for global control, as it combines the best (from the perspective of the “elites”) aspects of each system under the cloak of humanism and various other “-isms” such as environmentalism. That the system is not concerned with the externalities it purports to consider should be clear, but trapped in dialectical reasoning as we have been conditioned to be, breaking out of these constraints is often a tall order. Consider the American conservative, a creature who seldom understands that he is, at heart, still a liberal within his post-Jacobin confines. Alas, our Pavlovian overlords provide the stimuli and condition the response.
As Ted Kaczynski wrote, “The conservatives are fools: They whine about the decay of traditional values, yet they enthusiastically support technological progress and economic growth. Apparently it never occurs to them that you can’t make rapid, drastic changes in the technology and the economy of a society without causing rapid changes in all other aspects of the society as well, and that such rapid changes inevitably break down traditional values.” The point here is not to pile on conservatives but rather to highlight the inability to resist what is destroying you when you’ve already accepted all of its premises! An illustrative opinion is that of Klon Kitchen, writing for the conservative Heritage Foundation and the former Director of its Center for Technology Policy: “Google petitioners [attempting to remove a conservative from an advisory committee on ethics and artificial intelligence] seem to equate conservatism with bigotry and hate. They could not be more wrong.” This is fundamentally a liberal position. Kitchen continues, proving Kaczynski right:
Fundamentally, conservatives believe artificial intelligence can and should be used to build a country where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish. First, artificial intelligence is, and will continue to be, a critical tool for advancing U.S. security and freedom. … We agree with many of Google’s perspectives on how automation and other artificial intelligence-enabled capabilities will generate new jobs and opportunities. … Conservatives believe that artificial intelligence can open new pathways to individual and national prosperity, and we want to remove any unnecessary government barriers to these advancements. Needless regulations slow down innovation. We would gladly join Google in opposing barriers to attracting global tech talent and further expanding a technology industry that is the envy of the world.
Though Kitchen is here approaching the unshackling of artificial intelligence from a libertarian perspective, the end result would not be all that different should it arrive through government support, as a 2017 proposal from Wendy Hall (University of Southampton) and Jérôme Pesenti (Facebook AI) with the support of the Business Secretary and Culture Secretary outlines in the case of Great Britain:
We are at the threshold of an era when much of our productivity and prosperity will be derived from the systems and machines we create. We are accustomed now to technology developing fast, but that pace will increase and AI will drive much of that acceleration. The impacts on society and the economy will be profound. … Increased use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) can bring major social and economic benefits to the UK. With AI, computers can analyse and learn from information at higher accuracy and speed than humans can. AI offers massive gains in efficiency and performance to most or all industry sectors, from drug discovery to logistics. AI is software that can be integrated into existing processes, improving them, scaling them, and reducing their costs, by making or suggesting more accurate decisions through better use of information.
This will, however, require the “need to increase ease of access to data in a wider range of sectors,” and they recommend, apropos of nothing, “Greater diversity in the AI workforce.” Their recommendations were largely accepted, and the report led to a “Sector Deal” aimed at solidifying partnerships between the government and the tech industry to “boost innovation in AI.” As we might expect, all the 5G infrastructure and the like is present. Additionally, the UK Government does, in fact, have an Office for Artificial Intelligence, and, as Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said in March 2021, “Unleashing the power of AI is a top priority in our plan to be the most pro-tech government ever.” A government that, by the way, is helmed by a Conservative. For what it’s worth, like Joe Biden’s campaign to “Build Back Better”—gleaned straight from the World Economic Forum—the Conservatives’ website loudly proclaims that they aim to “Build Back Better” as well.
It’s not like Britain is alone, however, as a Cognilytica report shows that “France, Israel, United Kingdom, and the United States all are equally strong when it comes to AI, with China, Canada, Germany, Japan, and South Korea equally close in their AI strategic strength.” There is a ton of outside capital flowing to these countries as well, such as from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign investment fund to the Japan-based Softbank, for example.
From the vaunted multistakeholder perspective held by organizations such as the World Economic Forum, this is a very good thing. It’s not so much a competition between countries, though it looks that way from the outside, as it is a race to provide more data sets and information to be plugged into the network and accelerate the project. Have you ever noticed that outside of a very few quickly marginalized figures, no one in a position of authority ever seems to question the wisdom of any of this, outside, perhaps of the late Tanzanian President John Magufuli who as a “COVID-19 skeptic” speculatively and all-too-conveniently died of “COVID-19-related complications”?
With COVID-19 as justification, as usual, the WEF noted in July 2020—recalling the Dataist obsession with the free flow of information discussed in my previous article—that, “By necessity, model-based AI (which leverages the data available) saw a resurgence. As the pandemic progressed, and more data was available, data-rich and model-free approaches could be combined, leading to a few key hybrid solutions.” The pandemic, “provided an opportunity for data scientists and AI scientists to put their advanced techniques and tools to use by helping business leaders make decisions in a challenging environment that’s dominated by speed, uncertainty and lack of data.” This will “ensure you can seek solutions quickly while maximizing the technologies and processes already in place.” The same thought process, and the same emphasis on processes and systems already in place but situated to be scaled-up, includes the various medical interventions and global distribution of highly experimental mRNA “vaccines.” Crucially, as Yuval Noah Harari writes in his book Homo Deus, “Science is converging on an all-encompassing dogma, which says that organisms are algorithms and life is data processing.” The dogma is, in fact, a religious revolution, and for Harari, “All truly important revolutions are practical. … Ideas change the world only when they change our behaviour.”
As Kay Firth-Butterfield (Head of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning; Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum) and Anand Rao (Global Leader, Artificial Intelligence, PricewaterhouseCoopers) wrote in May 2020:
Data is critical to build models and validate their accuracy. … In the case of COVID-19, we need to feed models. … Models can be used to change the behaviour of people. We are all familiar with models that make recommendations as to which books we should read and what products we should buy. Similarly, COVID-19 models have changed attitudes and behaviours of health officials, policymakers, government institutions and citizens. … In response to government interventions, citizens have largely complied with restrictions and changed behaviours. They are traveling less, sheltering at home, social distancing and being more conscious of disinfection. They have also changed purchase behaviour. They are shopping online more rather than going to physical stores, and they are consuming more bandwidth as social interactions and entertainment have largely moved online.
They have indeed. That’s not all that’s gone online, either. The World Economic Forum consciously links things like “AI, nanotech, nuclear energy, and GMOs” with quantum computing and the ethical use thereof. As we have seen in the effort to completely re-shape the human experience in record time, what is ethical by the WEF and their compatriots’ definition is pretty far from what any normal, sane person would define as ethical. Nevertheless, whether it be biometric data or agriculture, it’s all got to be brought under control and linked. The World Economic Forum’s New Vision for Agriculture features such partners as Monsanto, DuPont, Cargill, the Wellcome Trust, Walmart, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Unilever. Given the “gifts” we’ve gotten from Monsanto’s GMO monstrosities and their destruction of sustainable agriculture and independent farms, DuPont’s carcinogenic “forever chemicals,” or the shoving of billions into overcrowded hovels and the degradation of the land and food quality courtesy of the Rockefeller Foundation’s efforts in the twentieth century, these are decidedly not the people we want forming a new vision for agriculture, or anything for that matter. But agriculture, like everything else, must be made “smarter.”
According to the World Economic Forum’s Shaping the Future of Technology Governance: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning—with partners including Lockheed Martin, Salesforce, the Government of Rwanda, the New Zealand Government, Palantir, Huawei, Microsoft, Facebook, and JP Morgan Chase:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a key driver of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Its effect can be seen in homes, businesses and even public spaces. In its embodied form of robots, it will soon be driving cars, stocking warehouses and caring for the young and elderly. AI holds the promise of solving some of society’s most pressing issues, but also presents challenges such as inscrutable “black box” algorithms, unethical use of data and potential job displacement. As rapid advances in machine learning (ML) increase the scope and scale of AI’s deployment across all aspects of daily life, and as the technology can learn and change on its own, multistakeholder collaboration is required.
Of course, the stakeholders are already in place to provide the solutions to the problems they’ve created! Regarding the inscrutable black boxes specifically, Cynthia Rudin and Joanna Radin explicate:
In machine learning, these black box models are created directly from data by an algorithm, meaning that humans, even those who design them, cannot understand how variables are being combined to make predictions. Even if one has a list of the input variables, black box predictive models can be such complicated functions of the variables that no human can understand how the variables are jointly related to each other to reach a final prediction.
The existence of black box algorithms and self-perpetuating systems lends credence to the idea that the carefully calculated and scripted events we have seen play out over the past eighteen months may well be driven by some sort of superintelligence that merely has humans doing its bidding. For Rudin and Radin, “Trusting a black box model”—trusting the science, as it were—“means that you trust not only the model’s equations, but also the entire database that it was built from.” For Juan Manuel Duran and Karin Rolanda Jongsma, “By outlining that more transparency in algorithms is not always necessary, and by explaining that computational processes are indeed methodologically opaque to humans, we argue that the reliability of algorithms provides reasons for trusting the outcomes of medical artificial intelligence (AI).” Trust the numbers/data set (cough, COVID, cough) and the authorities. Shut up and obey. For Harari:
We are developing superior algorithms that utilise unprecedented computing power and giant databases. The Google and Facebook algorithms not only know exactly how you feel, they also know myriad other things about you that you hardly suspect. Consequently you should stop listening to your feelings and start listening to these external algorithms instead. … Whereas humanism commanded: ‘Listen to your feelings!’ Dataism now commands: ‘Listen to the algorithms! They know how you feel.’
This new religion of Dataism may well spell the death of mankind, or, at the very least the demise of its autonomy. As Harari continues, “If humankind is indeed a single data-processing system, what is its output? Dataists would say that its output will be the creation of a new and even more efficient data-processing system, called the Internet-of-All-Things. Once this mission is accomplished, Homo sapiens will vanish.”
It is not coincidental that Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum’s “Internet of Things” (IoT) and its vast network of sensors and the free flow of information will by “necessity” beget the Internet-of-All-Things (IoAT), the bringing-online of an all-encompassing network representing the coup de grace of humanity and — very possibly — all living matter. The IoAT may well, as Harari writes in Homo Deus, “pervade the whole galaxy and even the whole universe. This cosmic data-processing system would be like God. It will be everywhere and will control everything, and humans are destined to merge into it.” Provided a superintelligence does not eliminate humanity altogether before such a merger occurs. But, in any case, neither scenario is appealing for those who value human life and/or sovereignty.
When humanity is reduced to nothing but sets of code, cut off as it were from the Creator and the responsibility of stewardship, such a philosophical leap becomes quite possible, especially enamored as he is with his own abilities. In the realm of scientism, which is rapidly displacing secular humanism as the prevailing dogma of the people who are actually designing the systems to replace themselves and/or to merge with their creation, the creation of the IoAT has become their religious obsession. For Harari, “In Silicon Valley the Dataist prophets consciously use traditional messianic language. For example, Ray Kurzweil’s book of prophecies is called The Singularity is Near, echoing John the Baptist’s cry: ‘the kingdom of heaven is near’ (Matthew 3:2).”,
As I stated in my previous article, these zealots are not content to allow unmodified humanity to exist unmolested. As Harari writes, “Dataism is also missionary. Its second commandment is to link everything to the system, including heretics who don’t want to be plugged in. And ‘everything’ means more than just humans. It means every thing.” Thus the World Economic Forum and its obsession with Smart Cities and a vast network encompassing everything from biometric data to trees in the park takes on a whole new light. With an impetus to “build back better”—where have we heard that before?—the WEF’s Global Future Council on Cities of Tomorrow notes that they “will seek to identify how cities can be re-designed to build back better and provide the climate and resilience, social and digital infrastructure to do so.” With partnering organizations such as Microsoft, Peking University, the Australian Smart Communities Association, Access Israel, Google, the Centre for Digital Built Britain, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Columbia University, Bloomberg Associates, the Canada Infrastructure Bank, and the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), the WEF’s Future of Cities initiative encompasses the Global Future Council on Cities of Tomorrow, as well as Infrastructure 4.0, Net Zero Carbon Cities, and the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance (note the constant inclusion of the buzzword “smart,” which typically occurs in close proximity to others like “sustainable”—with the proposals anything but—and “clean”).
The World Economic Forum’s Platform for Shaping the Future of the Internet of Things and Urban Transformation states that, with COVID-19 having “forced us to rethink the way we live. It is transforming industries and how we do business. It is intensifying social and environmental crises in our communities. And it is challenging fundamental assumptions and global trends. … A growing suite of connected devices and smart technologies, commonly referred to as the internet of things (IoT), offers a means to reimagine and transform physical spaces—our homes, offices, factories, farms, healthcare facilities and public spaces.” COVID-19 forced none of this, but was a handy excuse to accelerate projects and proposals years in the making, in the same way that pressure for everyone to get the so-called “vaccine” represents the chance for a very large sample size to test mRNA modifications on, if not itself be the Trojan Horse to cause a mass die-off and get those pesky carbon emissions under control. Other possibilities include the uploading of more data sets into the expanding IoAT and a breaking-down of biological barriers to biotechnological mergers.
Indeed, were one to break down all of the barriers to getting everything online, you’d do worse than using the language of humanism to do it—the WEF’s Future of the Connected World initiative lists “combatting inequality” alongside other essential actions, such as “improving security,” which will be familiar to readers of my last piece as these things are all of a piece. In fact, their inherent neatness and seamlessness almost leads one to wonder if there is already a kind of superintelligence guiding the implementation of all of these systems which can and do operate independent of human intervention in many cases already — often needing only human inputs, which gives grim meaning to “human resources,” does it not? In a grotesque paradox, many of the most avowed liberal humanists such as Niall Ferguson cede human sovereignty to systems; is it such a stretch to go from The Square and the Tower’s premise that “Man, with his unrivaled neural network, was born to network” to Man actually becoming the network? Reflect on the social network that is Facebook, for example, and consider the role of data in its expanding AI efforts. For Stuart Montgomery, “One of the most common iterations of machine learning in use today is called a ‘neural network,’ because it takes its basic metaphorical structure from the brain.” After all, all processes are reducible to algorithms to follow Harari’s logic—a logic, it should be noted, that is widely held by many a Dataist. Crucially, for Harari and synching with Ferguson:
Every day I absorb countless data … and transmit back new bits. … I don’t really know where I fit into the greater scheme of things. … This relentless flow of data sparks new inventions and disruptions that nobody plans, controls or comprehends. … No one needs to understand. All you need to do is answer your emails faster—and allow the system to read them. … As the global data-processing system becomes all-knowing and all-powerful, so connecting to the system becomes the source of all meaning.
In this way we can see the utter reliance of humans on the systems they’ve constructed, not the other way around. Rather than gods, humans have made themselves into slaves, serving the system and becoming just more data sets in the process. As Harari writes, “Dataism isn’t anti-humanist. It has nothing against human experiences. It just doesn’t think they are intrinsically valuable.” It is not a stretch here to go from the worthlessness of human experiences to the worthlessness of humans.
Our extinction in one possible scenario is simply a by-product. For Gordon Bell of Microsoft Research, “Singularity is that point in time when computing is able to know all human and natural-systems knowledge and exceed it in problem-solving capability with the diminished need for humankind as we know it. I basically support the notion.” In trying to upgrade humanity, Harari concedes it “may not be enough” and that humanity may well need to be “retired.” This is should we continue on the current trajectory, and the entirety of the so-called “elites” are committed to doing just that, whether they are Dataists, techno-humanists, power-mad sociopaths, or servile functionaries (or some combination thereof).
A slightly different point of view is held by John Casti of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria and designer of computer simulations of complex human systems, like the stock market, highway traffic, and the insurance industry: “I think [the singularity is] scientifically and philosophically on sound footing. The only real issue for me is the time frame over which the singularity will unfold. [The singularity represents] the end of the supremacy of Homo sapiens as the dominant species on planet Earth. At that point a new species appears, and humans and machines will go their separate ways, not merge one with the other.” Though Casti does not believe this implies machines or superintelligences annihilating humans (“unless human interests start to interfere with those of the machines”), it is telling that he cites the relationship of humans with bees—whom we exploit for resources and to whom we are societally indifferent to their declining populations as we wreak havoc on the environment.
The globalist network must now be understood in the context of this project. Although perhaps not even all senior leadership is on board with this particular vision, this is the prevailing vision of those who are implementing autonomous systems, using high-energy particle physics (CERN) to try to unlock sub-atomic secrets, and driving the quantum-computing explosion and the proliferation of the infrastructure to support the IoAT. The talk about “sustainability” and “combatting inequality” is just co-opted humanist drivel; admittedly, many people preaching and practicing this globalist vision believe in these ideals, but they are a means to an end. As Jeff Merritt, Head of IoT, Robotics and Smart Cities for the World Economic Forum, Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution states, “Our research on hundreds of IoT implementations showed that 84 percent of them directly addressed, or had the potential to address, UN Sustainable Development Goals.”
The United Nations is a very useful vehicle, especially if for Dataists the unrestricted flow of information in ever-increasing velocity—like goods, capital, and labor for globalist neo-liberals before them—is viewed as the central pillar of their religion. We know that the World Economic Forum and the United Nations signed a Strategic Partnership Framework outlining areas of cooperation to “deepen institutional engagement and jointly accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” The Strategic Partnership Framework, signed in June 2019, focuses on the areas of not just financing the 2030 Agenda, but also on digital cooperation, health, education and skills, gender equality and the empowerment of women, and climate change. As the UN Secretary-General’s “Roadmap for Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” outlines:
The 2030 Agenda, with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change provide a pathway for a more prosperous, equitable and sustainable future. The Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) establishes a blueprint to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda by providing a global framework for financing sustainable development that aligns all financing flows and policies with economic, social and environmental priorities. … The upcoming ‘decade of action’ (2020 – 2030) requires significant public and private investment to bring the SDGs and goals of the Paris Agreement to life for all people, everywhere.
In other words, creating a fully-integrated global network. While Harari claims that the “relentless flow of data sparks new inventions and disruptions that nobody plans, controls or comprehends,” that’s not entirely accurate, at least at this juncture (unless, as some have surmised, a superintelligence guiding events has already been brought online—a superintelligence that, theologically, could represent a downright sinister inhabitation).
The World Economic Forum, foremost champion of this project, is not some fringe organization, either. In addition to the partners previously mentioned, among the staggering array are included: BlackRock, Bloomberg, the Gates Foundation, Amazon, Zoom, Visa, Tyson Foods, Uber, Coca-Cola, the State Bank of India, the Royal Bank of Canada, Qatar National Bank, PayPal, Pfizer, Palantir, Alibaba, Pepsi, the American Heart Association, AstraZeneca, the New York Times, Bank of America, NBCUniversal, Nasdaq, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, the New York Stock Exchange, Grain Management, Google, Facebook, Nestlé, Goldman Sachs, Huawei, the Islamic Development Bank, IBM, Heineken, Johnson & Johnson, LinkedIn, JP Morgan Chase, the Mayo Clinic, Manchester United, Mastercard, and the list goes on and on.
Understanding that many aspects of this topic require the reader to go out on quite a limb, at bare minimum, whether they believe them or not, the zealots of Dataism, just the same as the zealots of communism or “social justice,” do believe in what they’re preaching and doing with religious fervor. It is worth recalling that there was a slight possibility that the Trinity tests of the Manhattan Project could ignite the atmosphere, but they went ahead anyway. This naturally begs the question: will you “follow the science”?
 By the way, if you were already feeling persecuted for your beliefs, Bloomberg is now priming the population for amped-up targeting via the “vaccine” with some ready-made scapegoats for the next engineered outbreak:
As much of the country emerges from masking and social distancing, undervaccinated pockets in the U.S. still threaten to bring the virus roaring back. Less than 25% of the population is fully vaccinated in at least 482 counties, according to an analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data by Bloomberg News. Many of these counties are more rural and less economically advantaged than the rest of the U.S., and a majority of their voters in the last presidential election chose Donald Trump.
 Harari, Yuval Noah, Homo Deus, 2017. p. 402.
 Ibid. p. 395.
A number of initiatives in New Zealand – such as the government’s Algorithm Assessment Report, the Centre for AI and Public Policy, Otago University report, Government Use of AI in New Zealand, and the AI Forum of New Zealand’s work on AI in the economy and society – have raised the importance of AI and explored opportunities…New Zealand has expressed interest in working with the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution on this topic, given the need for a global, multistakeholder perspective on the complex question of regulating AI. New Zealand has been keen to work with the Centre to identify tools and approaches that would promote innovation, protect society and build trust in AI use…Also in New Zealand, the Data Futures Partnership framed social licence in 2017 as the acceptance by individuals for organizations to use their data, information and stories.
 Harari. p. 397.
 Ibid. p. 386.
 Our friend from last time, Bill Gates, describes Kurzweil’s vision as “optimistic.”
 Ibid. p. 387.
 Ibid. pp. 390-91.