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