Evgeny Morozov talks about financial and technological populism and the transition to an AI rentier economy. He argues that new data analysis and optimisation techniques have been weaponised by firms such as Google to address the consequences of the wave of financialisation that began with the freeing up of capital flows in the 1970’s. Since this has undermined productivity-led growth and real incomes, it has propelled us into a rentier economy where assets like like property or cars are “sweated” by plugging them into a global network (e.g. mediated by Uber or Airbnb). The free flow of data has allowed Google to capitalise on deep-learning technologies which can allow cash-strapped state systems or city adminstrations to economise against the backdrop of falling revenue. The problem here is that such technology-applications undermine the capacity of nations, cities (“smart” or otherwise) and communities to provide decent jobs, affordable housing or healthcare. Here data constitutes is a source of value (provided for free by states and individual users of services like Facebook and Google) that needs to be reappropriated at a political level, along with the infrastructure for processing and analysing it.