During the transition to a new digitized, e-economy, lives and livelihoods will be interrupted. In just under a decade, AI and automation will rewrite the skills needed for the future of work.

Even if the Fourth Industrial Revolution manages to level itself up, and a new workforce emerges in Latin America and the Caribbean, with the capacity and capability to navigate a data-dominated world, the transition period will not be able to sidestep inherited inequality and intergenerational immobility, and other cradles of persistent poverty.

These troubles will not be fleeting, and limited. They will be huge and deep and must be interrogated in the Global South in particular and among the poorer strata of society all over the world, especially in Europe and North America.

The opulent possible worlds which we have imagined and made, are traceable to the extraordinary creations of the Enlightenment. Worlds that can only be surpassed by those innovations that the pandemic portal has just released. Worlds warped and soaked in Algorithms and AI.

The dilemma is that many of the prejudices and biases of the European Enlightenment continue to filter and flow seamlessly across the pandemic portal into the cultural milieu of people on the periphery.

In “AI in the UK: Ready, Willing and Abel? – Government Response to the Select Committee Report”, (UK House of Lords, Report on the session 2017-19, 16 April 2017, p.5), the House of Lords in the United Kingdom urged that the “prejudices of the past must not be unwittingly built into automated systems, and such systems must be carefully designed from the beginning”.

This task calls upon bureaucracies to bring out of concealedness a different decolonial agenda. An agenda that is lodged inside Tech Emancipation. AI and algorithms will disrupt a UN Charter that will find it increasingly difficult to disregard voices that were once muted.

A new discourse must emerge that is curated around cultural diplomacy that shifts the focus away from a discordant “us-versus-them” constellation of beliefs.

Eight centuries ago, Abu Mohammad Musleh al-Din Saadi Shirazi, popularly known as Sheik Saadi, described the unity of all humanity in the poem “Bani Adam”. In one canto he writes, “The sons of Adam are limbs of each other; Having been created of one essence. When the tragedy of time affects one limb; The other limbs cannot remain at rest”.

This particular poem became a motto and presently adorns the gate of the United Nations building entrance. “Bani Adam”, the Children of Adam, is a motto calling for the dismantling of all fences.

In the present model of globalization, global civil society and the society of sovereign states are complimentary social institutions. The system of sovereign states within which we enjoy citizenship rights stands on the ethical identities made possible within a global civil society within which actors are established as individual rights holders. Together these two systems form a practice.

This practice includes people wherever they happen to be. As such, there is no significant group outside of this practice and every threat to the practice as a whole is logically internal and can only arise from actors who are themselves participants in the practice. Participants who are themselves citizens and civilians. And so a threat to the model cannot logically take on the form of “us-versus-them”.

Anibal Quijano, the Peruvian thinker, reminds the world that present models of history and power have shaped the social classification of the world’s population around an axis of ideas that expresses the basic experience of colonial domination. This axis is now a distillate that is more durable than the colonialism in whose cauldron it was refined.

This creates the necessity for a creolized AI discourse imbued with inclusive endurance. Such a discourse cannot be about simply barricading the rhizomes of the past. It must be the basis for a humanistic scaffolding around AI systems that is strong enough to tote the weight of the past and confront the existential challenges ahead.

Decolonizing Artificial Intelligence will allow AI assemblages to become agile information-processing augmenters of our capabilities and experiences, both shaping and learning from our choices, as they unfollow and cancel old partialities and prejudgements.

In former plantation economies, rituals of resistance involved the use of drums made from bamboo. The tamboo bamboo is a percussion instrument and is a notable precursor to the steelpan. Its name derives from the French word for drum (tambour).

If Algorithms are unjust, there will be novel rituals of resistance. Citizens may engage in “data strikes” that involve the withholding or deletion of their data. Techno-resistance is a form of data-veiling that opposes digital oppression. It has become a means of shielding citizens from harm as well as a means of safeguarding one’s privacy and anonymity.

For the past quarter-millennium, each successive wave of general-purpose technology has widened the scope of global economic integration. But this advance has also deepened the questions around international governance and national economic competition.

The present transition from Open Banking to Open Finance alongside e-commerce will further widen and deepen global integration. It is here that Tec Emancipation must address the carryover of old prejudices and prejudgements into the eAge.