Will big data create a new untouchable business elite?
Nicholas Barrett

It would be ignorant to assume otherwise. To be in posession of big data is comparable to be in posession of land in the 16th century, owning serfs working on your property. To elaborate my point.. Having the ‘right’ and power to access data, can be compared to owning machines during the industrial revolution. The modes of production are changing; we are entering a new stage, constantly developing, rapidly moving forward , whereby the superstructure is changing with it. Karl Marx’s historical materialism offers a reasonable approach to fathom of the reformation of the superstructure. Following in line with Marx’ ideas, in the time of artificial intelligence, it will be the ‘ownership of data’ ‘menschliches KAPITAL’ more than ever, directing the course of history. It is left to the ones who prepare for it today to decide who and how has power over their ‘intelligence’ “In the social production of their existence, men inevitably enter into definite relations, which are independent of their will, namely relations of production appropriate to a given stage in the development of their material forces of production. The totality of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation, on which arises a legal and political superstructure and to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness. The mode of production of material life conditions the general process of social, political and intellectual life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness. At a certain stage of development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production or — this merely expresses the same thing in legal terms — with the property relations within the framework of which they have operated hitherto. From forms of development of the productive forces these relations turn into their fetters. Then begins an era of social revolution.”

— Karl Marx, Preface, A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (1859)