Grimes, the musician and romantic partner of billionaire Elon Musk, is a big believer in artificial intelligence, according to a new TikTok video she posted late Wednesday. What can AI do for humanity? Grimes insists that AI is a way to achieve Communism, something she says is good, while avoiding “collective farming,” something she says is bad. Confused yet? So are we.
“I have a proposition for the Communists,” Grimes says during an inauspicious start to her latest TikTok video.
“Typically, most of the Communists I know are not big fans of AI. But if you think about it, AI is actually the fastest path to Communism,” Grimes tells the camera without actually explaining what that means.
“So, if implemented correctly, AI could actually theoretically solve for abundance. Like, we could totally get to a situation where nobody has to work, everybody is provided for with a comfortable state of being... comfortable living,” Grimes said in a confusingly decorated video.
“AI could automate all the farming and weed out all the corruption, thereby bringing us to... as close as possible to genuine equality. So, basically, everything everybody loves about Communism, but without the collective farm,” the musician said before getting to the grand finale. Or, perhaps, the punchline.
“Cuz, let’s be real, enforced farming is really not a vibe,” Grimes said.
The first problem, of course, is that Grimes never defines artificial intelligence. The term is thrown around all the time without explanation, and here it’s no different. Is Grimes talking about some kind of Skynet situation where all of the world’s computers talk to each other? Or is it something more humble? Either way, how does this AI create the conditions she believes will bring about “Communism,” a word she also fails to define?
The second problem is that Grimes says we need to “solve for abundance,” which is something this undefined AI can apparently deliver. Presumably, Grimes believes that we don’t have enough resources to properly feed, clothe, and house everyone and that AI will some how give us these things in so much abundance that everyone will finally have enough.
Obviously, this idea is idiotic. We’ve already “solved for abundance” in the sense that the U.S. has more than enough resources to go around. The country is a land of abundance that simply doesn’t allocate resources efficiently to people who are struggling. And “automate all the farming”? Do you have any idea how much automation is happening on modern farms? Today’s tractors have DRM’d software, just in case your idea of “farming” somehow includes one dude in overalls with a pitchfork.
Admittedly, the idea that “abundance” is the problem was common among otherwise intelligent people in 20th century futurism. Grimes says that we’ll get to a point where “nobody has to work” if we just use AI intelligently, which sounds a lot like predictions from the 1950s and 60s about a post-work world. George Jetson spent a grueling three hours per day just pushing buttons thanks to advances of technology in his imaginary version of the 21st century. Worker productivity has skyrocketed since the 1980s, while wages have stagnated. Why don’t we all live the life of leisure depicted in the Jetsons? Your boss and your boss’s boss have simply pocketed the cash.
The third problem with this new TikTok video, of course, is what the fuck? Just generally, what in the name of Kurzweil is Grimes discussing here? Even the most generous interpretation is that she has no idea what she’s saying. It feels mean to even point it out, because it’s the kind of stoner conversation you may have had in your dorm room at 19 years old. But Grimes is 33. She’s built herself up as an artist with something to contribute when it comes to our discussion of technology. But this is just embarrassing.
Grimes is still romantically involved with Elon Musk, as far as we know, and they have a kid together—a baby they infamously named X Æ A-Xii. Musk is worth 156 billion, making him the second richest person on the planet. But Grimes doesn’t mention how her partner might be contributing to the problems that “communists” want to solve.
Everything Grimes talks about in her new video is something that requires a political solution, not a technological one. If Grimes wants “everyone to be provided for” perhaps she can advocate for a wealth tax that would redistribute her boyfriend’s billions to programs that provide a real social safety net to millions of struggling Americans.
At the very least Grimes could define AI. Because as it stands she’s just talking nonsense.