A Chinese university is dumping intellectual freedom from its charter yet China hopes to be the world’s top AI power. Is there a contradiction here?
If humans are just animals, then factory farm methods should work with people as well as pigs.
The big advances in AI have mostly been in free societies. Totalitarian states are grabbing AI but can they advance it if they cannot allow the creativity that comes with freedom?
How does that play out in Hong Kong’s struggle with China:
George Orwell identified two characteristics of a totalitarian state that offer insight into its central intellectual weaknesses…
First, successful modern technological cultures depend on a high level of individual freedom of thought, as the digital revolution demonstrates. He wrote: “Modern literature is essentially an individual thing. It is either the truthful expression of what one man thinks and feels, or it is nothing.” But he adds, “As I say, we take this notion for granted, and yet as soon as one puts it into words one realizes how literature is menaced. For this is the age of the totalitarian state, which does not and probably cannot allow the individual any freedom what ever.”
Whereas Shanghai University is onside with no freedom of thought, international human rights day (December 8, 2019) brought 800,000 Hongkongers onto the streets again. One observer told us, “I love this vid. Hong Kong people never lack creative ideas to express their feelings and thoughts”Denyse O’Leary, “Can a Totalitarian State Advance AI?: China vs. Hong Kong provides a test case” at Mind Matters News
Indeed. In the vids, they are wearing plastic pig’s heads to frustrate the mass surveillance equipment. In one classic street drama, a man pretending to be a security official (with “1984” blazoned on his shirt) is interviewing Pig 1, Pig 2, etc., to general hilarity.
Unlike the poor Uyghurs, the Hongkongers are tech savvy. It just is not as clear who will win in the end.
See also: Weighing the costs of China’s high tech power: Western nations like New Zealand, Australia, and Canada must weigh Beijing’s demands carefully
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