📚 “Resisting AI”: Dan McQuillan

Dr Dan McQuillan, Lecturer in Creative & Social Computing, recently published a new book: “Resisting AI—An Anti-fascist Approach to Artificial Intelligence“.

The cover of “Resisting AI”

In the book, Dan argues that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere, yet it causes damage to society in ways that can’t be fixed. Instead of helping to address our current crises, AI causes divisions that limit people’s life chances, and even suggests fascistic solutions to social problems. This book provides an analysis of AI’s deep learning technology and its political effects and traces the ways that it resonates with contemporary political and social currents, from global austerity to the rise of the far right.

A 3D scan of Dr Dan McQuillan

“Resisting AI” argues that AI is harmful by nature and has already become a kind of algorithmic violence. Not only that, but its application to crises like austerity and climate change moves the needle quickly to far right and even fascistic solutions. The book argues for a different approach based on a bottom up politics of people’s councils that can not only resist AI but radically restructure it. The only acceptable future for advanced computation is to support socially useful production and the common good.

«The effect of AI on work & social life isn’t the alleviation of routine labour but the amplification of precarity. Our most advanced computation helps turn the clock back on 100 years of hard won rights & protections.»

Dr Dan McQuillan, Twitter

With “Resisting AI”, Dr Dan McQuillan calls for us to resist AI as we know it and restructure it by prioritising the common good over algorithmic optimisation. He sets out an anti-fascist approach to AI that replaces exclusions with caring, proposes people’s councils as a way to restructure AI through mutual aid and outlines new mechanisms that would adapt to changing times by supporting collective freedom.

«AI advocates talk about Artificial General Intelligence without acknowledging its roots in Victorian eugenics. Meanwhile, real world deep learning is entangled with operations that come to decide who’s life is disposable.»

Dr Dan McQuillan, Twitter

Academically rigorous, yet accessible to a socially engaged readership, this unique book will be of interest to all who wish to challenge the social logic of AI by reasserting the importance of the common good.

Dan developed his ideas after a lifetime spent studying how technology impacts impacts our lives from a social and ethical point of view. After a degree in Physics from Oxford and a PhD in Experimental Particle Physics from Imperial College London, his career focused on supporting and advocating for people’s right.

  • You can follow Dr Dan McQuillan on Twitter.
  • Resisting AI“, published by Bristol University Press, is available both in digital and physical form.