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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: 4, Insightful) by khallow on Sunday August 16 2020, @01:31PM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 16 2020, @01:31PM (#1037449) Journal

    Nothing happens in a vacuum and out of the blue. These things are permitted by external entities to happen. The Nazi extermination camps were known about for years but were deemed a "distraction to the war effort" so none of the military operations targeted operations of the extermination camps. This is known history. And with Chinese "re-education camps", the same thing. Trump even said it was a "good idea" so the moral outrage now is not only China, but the policy of the United States under Trump

    Absurd bullshit. Why would you think that Chinese "re-education camps" wouldn't have happened, if the US withheld its approval via some alleged comment by Trump? And "in a vacuum and out of the blue" doesn't apply. China clearly has planned these things.

    And so what? You will just not be able to hide as easily in a crowd anymore. The keyword is "as easily". Remember last 2 decades since DNA evidence kind of made rapists and killers easier to identify? Yeah like that. Instead of having 10000 people looking for a face in the crowd, you just have AI do that for you. You still need to become person of interest in one way or another. You still need to be on the radar somehow. It's not random wet dream of someone to put Runaway on a person-non-grata list.

    So what if the nonrandom sort of oppression isn't random? You seem to focus way too much on the randomness of stuff that doesn't have to be random. Further, if you had read about totalitarian governments you would have read about the use of random processes [] to increase the fear among the populace. So to summarize, Runaway would still have to be concerned even if they merely put people on the list for non-random reasons. And we actually have a track record of totalitarian governments doing random oppression because they have to make quota, or someone is a sociopath and wants some fun.

    All I see here is "but but but the RED CHINESE!". Same shit happens all over the world. No one seems to say "but but ut the SINGAPOREANS!" or "but but but the Americans!"

    Whataboutism happens all the time. There's always someone going "but but but the Americans" in this sort of thread, such as you claiming that the China wouldn't have built concentration camps without the approval of the US government.

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