Why Chile’s Santiago Boys launched Project Cybersyn

In the early 1970s, Chile ran its economy with the cybernetic theories of Stafford Beer. Writer Evgeny Morozov tells Mike Higgins about the project’s enduring legacy.

The World Today Published 29 September 2023 4 minute READ

Evgeny Morozov

Technology writer

In the nine episodes of ‘The Santiago Boys’ podcast, Evgeny Morozov, a technology and politics writer, tells the story of the bold attempt by a young team of engineers in Salvador Allende’s government in Chile and a British management guru to deploy the latest computer technology to improve the country’s economy. Project Cybersyn, as it became known, ended with the military coup in 1973, but Morozov says it has lessons to teach governments as they debate how to regulate and exploit artificial intelligence. Here he talks to Mike Higgins

What was Project Cybersyn and what factors in Salvador AlIende’s government led it to implement such a radical approach to governance?

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