Rethinking of Marxist perspectives on big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and capitalist economic development

Nigel Walton, Bhabani Nayak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AI and big data are not ideologically neutral scientific knowledge that drives economic development and social change. AI is a tool of capitalism which transforms our societies within an environment of technological singularity that helps in the expansion of the capitalist model of economic development. Such a development process ensures the precarity of labour. This article highlights the limits of traditional Marxist conceptualisation of labour, value, property and production relations. It argues for the rethinking of Marxist perspectives on AI led economic development by focusing on conceptual new interpretation of bourgeois and proletariat in the information driven data-based society. This is a conceptual paper which critically outlines different debates and challenges around AI driven big data and its implications. It particularly focuses on the theoretical challenges faced by labour theory of value and its social and economic implications from a critical perspective. It also offers alternatives by analysing future trends and developments for the sustainable use of AI. It argues for developing policies on the use of AI and big data to protect labour, advance human development and enhance social welfare by reducing risks.
Original languageEnglish
Article number120576
Number of pages8
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Early online date13 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021


  • Platforms
  • Big data
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Internet-of-Things
  • Disintermediation
  • Sharing economy
  • Bourgeoisie
  • Proletariat
  • Labour power

Cite this