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posted by chromas on Sunday August 16 2020, @01:02AM   Printer-friendly
from the cloudscale-big-brother dept.

The Panopticon Is Already Here (archive)

Xi Jinping is using artificial intelligence to enhance his government's totalitarian control—and he's exporting this technology to regimes around the globe.

[...] Xi has said that he wants China, by year's end, to be competitive with the world's AI leaders, a benchmark the country has arguably already reached. And he wants China to achieve AI supremacy by 2030.

Xi's pronouncements on AI have a sinister edge. Artificial intelligence has applications in nearly every human domain, from the instant translation of spoken language to early viral-outbreak detection. But Xi also wants to use AI's awesome analytical powers to push China to the cutting edge of surveillance. He wants to build an all-seeing digital system of social control, patrolled by precog algorithms that identify potential dissenters in real time.

[...] China already has hundreds of millions of surveillance cameras in place. Xi's government hopes to soon achieve full video coverage of key public areas. Much of the footage collected by China's cameras is parsed by algorithms for security threats of one kind or another. In the near future, every person who enters a public space could be identified, instantly, by AI matching them to an ocean of personal data, including their every text communication, and their body's one-of-a-kind protein-construction schema. In time, algorithms will be able to string together data points from a broad range of sources—travel records, friends and associates, reading habits, purchases—to predict political resistance before it happens. China's government could soon achieve an unprecedented political stranglehold on more than 1 billion people.

Early in the coronavirus outbreak, China's citizens were subjected to a form of risk scoring. An algorithm assigned people a color code—green, yellow, or red—that determined their ability to take transit or enter buildings in China's megacities. In a sophisticated digital system of social control, codes like these could be used to score a person's perceived political pliancy as well.

A crude version of such a system is already in operation in China's northwestern territory of Xinjiang, where more than 1 million Muslim Uighurs have been imprisoned, the largest internment of an ethnic-religious minority since the fall of the Third Reich. Once Xi perfects this system in Xinjiang, no technological limitations will prevent him from extending AI surveillance across China. He could also export it beyond the country's borders, entrenching the power of a whole generation of autocrats.

See also: In the Age of AI

Related: Is Ethical A.I. Even Possible?
China Now Has AI-Powered Judges
The US, Like China, Has About One Surveillance Camera for Every Four People, Says Report


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Subsentient on Sunday August 16 2020, @01:18AM (51 children)

    by Subsentient (1111) on Sunday August 16 2020, @01:18AM (#1037301) Homepage Journal

    Something really needs to be done about China. Something drastic, if this goes on for much longer.

    That kind of evil cannot be allowed to fester and metastasize.

    --
    "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." -Jiddu Krishnamurti
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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by takyon on Sunday August 16 2020, @01:34AM (1 child)

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Sunday August 16 2020, @01:34AM (#1037306) Journal

    Doing nothing is easier. Just let it happen.

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 2, Touché) by fustakrakich on Sunday August 16 2020, @02:45AM

      by fustakrakich (6150) on Sunday August 16 2020, @02:45AM (#1037338) Journal

      Besides, it suits this president just fine..

      Take good care, Mr. Buttle

      --
      La politica e i criminali sono la stessa cosa..
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @01:34AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @01:34AM (#1037307)

    Something really needs to be done about China.

    That's up the the folks that live there.

    Their trade of anything goes for stability is a deal that won't end well.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @02:09AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @02:09AM (#1037325)

      The Chinese proletariat should seize political power.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @01:47AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @01:47AM (#1037310)

    The USA announced that thermonuclear bomb tests would be started up again soon...

  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @01:58AM (10 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @01:58AM (#1037315)

    > Something really needs to be done about China.

    Socialism presents as an ideology, in reality it's a criminal conspiracy.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @04:41AM (9 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @04:41AM (#1037362)

      Get your head out of your ass. China is not a socialist country. It isn't Communist/communist either. China has an authoritarian government, and state capitalism.

      You know how they sell all that shit to us for a profit, but at low costs due to exploiting their labor force, and the means of production is held by a small elite (just like us), except that a lot of industries are controlled by the military (this is the 'state' part of the state capitalism).

      China doesn't even have socialized medicine. There was a Wuhan doctor talking about a pregnant woman who's family spent everything they had-- 10s of thousands of dollars on her medical care, but when the money ran out, they removed her from the ventilator-- especially tragic since China's government decided to cover costs of covid-19 care a couple days later (similar, but more generous, to the US non-socialized medical system paying for covid testing).

      In socialism, the workers own the means of production. In socialism, pregnant women are not murdered by medical staff because they cannot personally afford treatment-- if you spread the costs of her treatment out over every person in the country, her care amounted to a fraction of a penny per person.

      Which of these two is evil?

      • (Score: 2, Disagree) by khallow on Sunday August 16 2020, @05:07AM (4 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 16 2020, @05:07AM (#1037367) Journal

        and state capitalism.

        Which let us note is a nasty variant of socialism not capitalism which would by the same naming convention be private capitalism because of the all important distinction - private ownership of capital.

        China doesn't even have socialized medicine. There was a Wuhan doctor talking about a pregnant woman who's family spent everything they had-- 10s of thousands of dollars on her medical care, but when the money ran out, they removed her from the ventilator-- especially tragic since China's government decided to cover costs of covid-19 care a couple days later (similar, but more generous, to the US non-socialized medical system paying for covid testing).

        I guess not all socialized medical systems work very well, eh?

        In socialism, the workers own the means of production. In socialism, pregnant women are not murdered by medical staff because they cannot personally afford treatment--

        Except, of course, when that's all not true. And it's interesting how much worse this is that the US system.

        if you spread the costs of her treatment out over every person in the country, her care amounted to a fraction of a penny per person.

        So what? They chose not to spread out that particular cost. It doesn't make their health care system non-socialist.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @05:58AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @05:58AM (#1037375)

          God don't you douchebags get tired of cheerleading your favorite words? If bad capitalism is socialism, and good socialism is capitalism, then you might as well say I WIN and give up the pretense of having a debate about it.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday August 16 2020, @09:43PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 16 2020, @09:43PM (#1037618) Journal

            If bad capitalism is socialism, and good socialism is capitalism, then you might as well say I WIN and give up the pretense of having a debate about it.

            Words have meaning. If you refuse to use the meaning of the words, or alternately, set forth your own definitions clearly for others, then you just handed an I WIN button to your critics. And sure, you might as well give up the pretense of having a debate about it.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 17 2020, @11:31AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 17 2020, @11:31AM (#1037784)

          Can someone please translate or summarize these responses into something that makes sense?

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday August 17 2020, @10:49PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 17 2020, @10:49PM (#1038100) Journal
            Some AC wingnut claims that the present day ills of China are due to Capitalism while ignoring the place was even worse when the place was more Socialist. Then when one looks at the assertions made, one sees incredibly poor targeting. "State Capitalism" is not capitalism. A healthcare system where 95% of the populace has public health insurance [wikipedia.org] which covers 70% of their healthcare costs is not a capitalist system. And who knows how much murdering of pregnant women in the old Communist China went on, but it was probably a fair bit given their general callousness and the One Child policy as well as ruthless older initiatives that were even worse.

            Things have improved FWIW. I think a good portion of that can be attributed to the introduction of a degree of Capitalism and democracy.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @11:33AM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @11:33AM (#1037429)

        The "it's not real communism" argument again. Why that fat, psychopathic pedophile Mao was just a regular capitalist wasn't he?

        In socialism, the workers own the means of production.

        When? Was that what lead to the need for Lenin's market reforms? Do you ever think the reason you clowns keep trotting out the "not real communism" argument is simply because socialism hasn't ever worked? Mussolini created the template for centrally planned states that do need to produce wealth but Marxists deny that too because it reveals their ideology to be so inherently flawed it should rightfully be considered evil.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @02:34PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @02:34PM (#1037472)

          I think you'll find we're having the "it's not real capitalism" argument.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @03:09PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @03:09PM (#1037488)

            I think you'll find you misunderstand the Chinese economy. [city-journal.org]

        • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Monday August 17 2020, @08:27AM

          by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 17 2020, @08:27AM (#1037763) Journal

          Why that fat, psychopathic pedophile Mao was just a regular capitalist wasn't he?

          If you think the modern Chinese economic system even remotely resembles the system Mao once installed, you must have been living under a rock for quite some time.

          --
          The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Sunday August 16 2020, @02:03AM (18 children)

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Sunday August 16 2020, @02:03AM (#1037321)

    Something really needs to be done about China. Something drastic, if this goes on for much longer.
    That kind of evil cannot be allowed to fester and metastasize.

    Why not? How does it affect you? Do you live in China? If not, it's really none of your concern. Sucks to be them, but it's their own problem to deal with. The last time we tried invading a country to "liberate" it, it didn't go so well and we created not just a bunch of terrorists, but a bunch of terrorists bent on creating their own country that made China's actions here look quite benevolent by comparison. (Sorry, but I'll happily take an AI spying on me to make sure I'm not a dissident over living with a bunch of religious freaks who would saw my head off if I disobeyed their religious orders.)

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by khallow on Sunday August 16 2020, @02:16AM (2 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 16 2020, @02:16AM (#1037328) Journal
      The big social media businesses were required to develop censorship tools at the behest of China and the EU. Now they're using those tools on us.
      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @09:48AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @09:48AM (#1037409)

        And once again, that is on the people who live [wherever it is] to fix. The EU seems to be fighting back against surveillance, why don't you?
        If capitalism is so great buy your own politicians and pass the laws you want.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday August 16 2020, @02:18AM (5 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 16 2020, @02:18AM (#1037330) Journal
      Also a number of films are compromising their quality in order to sell in China.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @02:35PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @02:35PM (#1037474)

        Compromising? Some of us like Rambo thank you very much.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Sunday August 16 2020, @03:48PM (3 children)

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Sunday August 16 2020, @03:48PM (#1037500)

        Also a number of films are compromising their quality in order to sell in China.

        And this is a good thing, according to capitalism: the film studios can make a lot more money by pandering to China and compromising their movies' artistry. Would you prefer that we have state socialism like China, where the government has a lot of control over what kind of movies the studios are allowed to make? Americans generally hate that idea, so this is what we get. If Americans don't like it, they're free to start their own movie studios and make movies that don't worry about offending China.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday August 16 2020, @10:07PM (2 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 16 2020, @10:07PM (#1037629) Journal

          Would you prefer that we have state socialism like China, where the government has a lot of control over what kind of movies the studios are allowed to make?

          Of course, I wouldn't prefer that, but that's what we're getting. Hence, my complaint. It's one thing to compromise quality of a movie to appeal to the sensibilities of a Chinese audience. Go for it.

          It's another to compromise as I noted above with the sensibilities of Chinese censors.

          • (Score: 2) by dry on Monday August 17 2020, @03:50AM (1 child)

            by dry (223) on Monday August 17 2020, @03:50AM (#1037731) Journal

            Well, it does kinda balance out the historic American censorship, which worked the same way, government threatened censorship if the film industry didn't self-censor and since the courts at the time had ruled that movies were not art but rather a business, government censorship was fine.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday August 17 2020, @12:10PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 17 2020, @12:10PM (#1037789) Journal

              historic American censorship

              Which has been rolled back quite a bit over the years. No point to claiming today's misdeeds can compensate for past ones which aren't around any more.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by PartTimeZombie on Sunday August 16 2020, @02:44AM (5 children)

      by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Sunday August 16 2020, @02:44AM (#1037337)

      The US is not going to invade China.

      For a start that's not a fight they can win, and secondly too many western corporations make too much money from China to allow it.

      No matter who wins your election in November, all this anti-China stuff will end pretty quickly. Trump won't need the distraction any more and Biden is not interested.

      Is the Chinese government a horrible, totalitarian bully? Yes. Is China a nice place? No.

      Will the west try to change that? No.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @04:54AM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @04:54AM (#1037365)

        Is the US government a horrible, totalitarian bully? Yes. Is the US a nice place? Not anymore.

        Will the east try to change that? No.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @06:01AM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @06:01AM (#1037376)

          > Will the east try to change that? Yes

          FTFY. Russia and probably China and North Korea are interested in screwing with us, much like we screw with them.

          • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Sunday August 16 2020, @04:10PM (2 children)

            by Grishnakh (2831) on Sunday August 16 2020, @04:10PM (#1037507)

            Russia and China and NK are certainly interested in screwing with us, but that doesn't equate to them trying to make the US a nicer place. They're trying to reduce our power so that they can become more powerful.

            • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Monday August 17 2020, @08:36AM (1 child)

              by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 17 2020, @08:36AM (#1037764) Journal

              Oh, they will definitely try making the US a nicer place. It's just that they will apply their definition of nice. Which means under their control.

              --
              The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 17 2020, @11:41AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 17 2020, @11:41AM (#1037785)

                And when that happens, (China, Russia, or NK) become super powers as our power fades, those in this country who currently protest 'isms will long for the time before George Floyd. Those three countries have horrific track records concerning all kinds of 'isms.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @12:39PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @12:39PM (#1037441)

      >> The last time we tried invading a country to "liberate" it, it didn't go so well and we created not just a bunch of terrorists, but a bunch of terrorists bent on creating their own country.

      Canada?

    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Sunday August 16 2020, @06:03PM

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Sunday August 16 2020, @06:03PM (#1037554) Journal

      Why not? How does it affect you? Do you live in China? If not, it's really none of your concern.

      We don't live in a world where that's true anymore. It's hard to put one date on it, but sometime in the mid-90's we became a real global economy where what happens in one place has repercussions everyplace, financially speaking. And, of course, because politics so frequently follow on economic factors, what one place does politically frequently has political repercussions far away.

      So it matters that China is working on AI for surveillance and censorship. It affects all of us on Earth.

      Note, this is also true of the horrific violations the NSA and its counterparts in the West have been committing.

      All of it taken together is an existential threat to our freedom.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday August 17 2020, @01:29AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 17 2020, @01:29AM (#1037688) Journal
      And the third reason. It creates a twisted arms race. Every surveillance technology that is developed by one country is readily adopted [soylentnews.org] by others.

      Why 30 years? The UK already uses AI in its CCTV system to better track "persons of interest" as they move along through the camera system. They can use AI to track based on anything from face biometrics, to your heartbeat, to the way you walk.

      The "risk scoring" that China is already doing is being discussed in the UK as well, as a way to better discover who is an "undesirable" before they do anything that would cause trouble to the powers that be. Drones swarm around protests filming and logging people, who can later on have a knock at their door by the authorities.

  • (Score: 4, Touché) by PartTimeZombie on Sunday August 16 2020, @02:38AM (2 children)

    by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Sunday August 16 2020, @02:38AM (#1037334)

    Something really needs to be done about China. Saudi Arabia. Something drastic, if this goes on for much longer.

    That kind of evil cannot be allowed to fester and metastasize.

    That fits too, doesn't it?

    You could also use Indonesia if you like, they're not much better. I'm sure there are others.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @02:53AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @02:53AM (#1037339)

      Something needs to be done about the United States of America. Something drastic. The evil has festered and metastized for centuries, and it cannot be allowed to continue. Yesterday Libya, today Syria and Yemen, tomorrow Belarus.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @03:11AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @03:11AM (#1037342)

        Trumpyland will open next year. The E ticket rides are reserved for Republicans. Democrats are stuck with the A ticket ride... the teacups.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @03:02AM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @03:02AM (#1037341)

    Something really needs to be done about China Trump! Something drastic, if this goes on for much longer.

    That kind of evil cannot be allowed to fester and metastasize.

    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Sunday August 16 2020, @06:09PM (5 children)

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Sunday August 16 2020, @06:09PM (#1037557) Journal

      If Trump were the monster you think he is, and unceasingly complain about, you wouldn't be here to write such a thing. Q.E.D.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Sunday August 16 2020, @06:53PM (3 children)

        by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Sunday August 16 2020, @06:53PM (#1037574) Journal

        If der Fuhrer ver ze monster joo seem to sink he iz, joo vould not be hier to wrrrrite such sings. Q.E.D. Der Fuhrer iz not zo bad, und he iz only talking about rrrremovink zose people whoze debilities cost der Volk millions of unnecessary Deustchemarks a year in medical expenses. Ve vill all be better off vunce he iz done, nein?

        (In case you don't get the hint, we are pre-Reichstag Fire not post-Kristallnacht.)

        --
        I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
        • (Score: 0, Troll) by khallow on Monday August 17 2020, @01:42AM (2 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 17 2020, @01:42AM (#1037690) Journal

          If der Fuhrer ver ze monster joo seem to sink he iz, joo vould not be hier to wrrrrite such sings.

          Which turned out to be true.

          • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Monday August 17 2020, @02:47AM (1 child)

            by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Monday August 17 2020, @02:47AM (#1037717) Journal

            You know, there are some scientists who still believe the universe has a closed metric, i.e., it is finite but unbounded in 3D space. This means that if you start anywhere and go on a straight-line geodesic relative to the metric, you will eventually return to where you started.

            I mention this because if the point went any further over your head, it could technically be said to be going under your feet.

            --
            I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday August 17 2020, @03:25AM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 17 2020, @03:25AM (#1037725) Journal
              Let's just say that we're fortunate that we presently live in a world that wouldn't classify your post as an IED.
      • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Sunday August 16 2020, @10:03PM

        by fustakrakich (6150) on Sunday August 16 2020, @10:03PM (#1037627) Journal

        :-) The day is young, my friend...

        You should know, the slow boil is best

        --
        La politica e i criminali sono la stessa cosa..
  • (Score: 2) by linkdude64 on Sunday August 16 2020, @04:31AM (2 children)

    by linkdude64 (5482) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 16 2020, @04:31AM (#1037357)

    RACIST!!!!
    "No, my issue isn't that they're 'Chinese' the issue is the totalitaria-"
    RACIST!!! RACIST RACIST!!!!

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @06:04AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @06:04AM (#1037377)

      Found the racist - it's subtle but definitely there.

  • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Sunday August 16 2020, @05:30AM

    by fustakrakich (6150) on Sunday August 16 2020, @05:30AM (#1037371) Journal

    I think we can put China on the back burner for a couple of months

    --
    La politica e i criminali sono la stessa cosa..
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @06:52AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 16 2020, @06:52AM (#1037387)

    "There's a China caravan coming to our border and will arrive on election day. Vote for a wall!"

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 17 2020, @12:41PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 17 2020, @12:41PM (#1037794)

    It's called World War 3