August – Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence. Why do we down play the first word and up play (or worship) the second? In Biographies of Hegemony: The Culture of Smartness and the Recruitment and Construction of Investment Bankers, Karen Zouwen Ho writes: “The ‘culture of smartness’ is central to understanding Wall Street’s financial agency, how investment bankers are personally and institutionally empowered to enact their worldviews, export their practices, and serve as models for far-reaching socioeconomic change. On Wall Street, ‘smartness’ means much more than individual intelligence; it conveys a naturalized and generic sense of ‘impressiveness,’ of elite, pinnacle status and expertise, which is used to signify, even prove, investment bankers’ worthiness as advisors to corporate America and leaders of the global financial markets. To be considered ‘smart’ on Wall Street is to be implicated in a web of situated practices and ideologies, co produced through the interactions of multiple institutions, processes, and American culture at large, which confer authority and legitimacy on high finance and contribute to the sector’s vast influence. The culture of smartness is not simply a quality of Wall Street, but a currency, a driving force productive of both profit accumulation and global prowess.”