Isn't capitalism the real unaligned superintelligence?

Science fiction author Ted Chiang and others have compared capitalism to a paperclip-maximizing superintelligence. After all, corporations are like superhuman agents that maximize profit, sometimes at the expense of human flourishing. The competitive regime in which they operate, as a whole, often pushes the world in directions unaligned with human values. Why pay special attention to the prospect of unaligned artificial superintelligence if something "exactly as amoral and dangerous" already exists?

The previous comparisons underestimate AI’s potential to be both 1) extremely powerful and 2) totally amoral, beyond any precedent in capitalism or other social systems running on collective human intelligence:

  • Future AI systems could be superhumanly intelligent in ways corporations are not. Corporations can do some huge tasks that decompose into human-sized chunks. (And capitalism can do some huge tasks that decompose into corporation-sized chunks.) Future AI systems could not only do these things, but also reason much faster and in qualitatively more effective ways, and can be easily scaled up by just adding more computing hardware.

  • AI systems are not made of humans, who have mixed motivations and limited ability to coordinate, and may experience moral scruples or leak information. This makes AI systems more able to single-mindedly pursue horribly misaligned goals, without having to worry as much about things like loyalty, morale, or public opinion.

These factors could help AI get enough of a strategic advantage over human governments to overthrow them altogether, enabling the AI to cause harm on a greater scale than has been possible for corporations.