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China: Using AI for social control

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From Jonah Goldberg at Townhall:

China made it official: By 2020, the government will fully implement a “social credit score” system that will use artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology to monitor, reward and punish virtually every kind of activity based upon ideological criteria — chiefly, loyalty to the state.

It doesn’t take a science-fiction writer to imagine where these trends can go. Right now, the decisions made about the rebellious driver and little Alfie are being made by humans. But will that always be the case? AI systems can send people to jail and make decisions about withholding care quite easily. Just ask the Chinese. Indeed, the humans making these decisions are just following the legal and bureaucratic equivalent of algorithms anyway. More.

This is a far more likely and far more serious problem than fears that AI instruments will acquire personalities. Think about it: We must persuade human beings to spend their lives on boring surveillance and control of the lives of others. But there is no such problem with technologies that do not have lives anyway. Under the right conditions, they will multiply like weeds. And the personalities behind them are not artificial entities but the usual suspects.

See also: The AI revolution has not happened yet. Probably never will, actually.

Experts slam EU proposal to grant personhood to intelligent machines

Aw, Facebook, quit blaming AI for your goofs and shady practices One thing to be said for granting personhood to intelligent machines is that we could then blame them for things that go wrong.

and

Why the brain still beats the computer, even from a naturalist perspective

6 Replies to “China: Using AI for social control

  1. 1

    Remember when Paul Ehrlich wrote “The Population Bomb” in 1968 that said we were all running out of resources, and by 2000 the Chinese would be eating each other to survive? Yeah, the guy who his bet with Julian Simon https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon%E2%80%93Ehrlich_wager
    And why are the doomsayers always wrong? Because they don’t understand the creativity of the human soul. Actually, they don’t believe in souls either.

    Well, the Chinese believed Ehrlich, and instituted a 1-child policy for 50 years. It hasn’t exactly turned out well for them, and now they are backtracking and “permitting” families of 2 or 3. It might be too late. As one sociologist put it, “Japan got rich before it got old, China will get old before it gets rich.” The demographic problem, of course, is that the working population has to take care of the ever-enlarging, aging, non-working population.

    Now China is reading all the AI propaganda that robots will be sentient and therefore make trustworthy guardians of the teeming masses. So the question now becomes, “Will China lose its soul before it dies, or die before it loses its soul?”

  2. 2
    LocalMinimum says:

    Interesting. Things like blacklists will be far more practical back here in the “free world”, even. The current problem with such operations/networks is the larger the scale of implementation, the more operator/conspirators you bring in to the web and the leakier it gets. Fully automated, it need not be communicated beyond whatever powerful social minority conceived it; even while having the whole industry building the apparatus, provided you properly subcontracted and they properly black boxed the components.

  3. 3
    Allan Keith says:

    Interesting and scary at the same time. We already use AI (or computer algorithms at least) to monitor phone and internet communication for key words and phrases. Get flagged using one of these can put you on the no-fly list and on the list for further surveillance.

    And with every instance of some nut-job posting something on social media shortly before killing a bunch of people, society clamours for more surveillance.

  4. 4
    ET says:

    Interesting and scary at the same time.

    Just like China. 🙂

  5. 5
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    Just like China.

    I’ve been there a couple times recently. I found it very safe and everyone I met was very friendly.

  6. 6
    ET says:

    Global threat, Allan

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