China’s push into AI is very dangerous, thinks George Soros
Back in 1984, when the first Terminator movie was released, artificial intelligence was still in its infancy, although the market for AI was quite lucrative already. Now, many governments and private entities are pushing huge amounts of money in this field looking to provide better health care, smarter gadgets, and more. However, the primary goal for most corporations is the profit, while the governments are looking for new ways to increase their level of control over the citizens.
Often used as a scapegoat by incompetent governments all over the world, George Soros is not afraid to reveal some truths that many are scared to even think about. In China's case, he said something that is no longer a secret: "I want to call attention to the mortal danger facing open societies from the instruments of control that machine learning and artificial intelligence can put in the hands of repressive regimes." He even mentioned a few times the name of China's president, Xi Jinping, to make everything clear.
Back in 2017, China issued a broad AI strategy that includes a few ambitious goals, the icing on the cake being the goal to leave US behind in this field by 2030. China's social credit system that is currently being developed involves tracking the citizens' financial activity, online interactions, and even energy use, but it does not stop there. The success of this system's implementation depends on the cooperation of private companies like Baidu and Alibaba, but this will probably not be a problem.
As insane as it might be right now, China seems to have a plan and the resources that could turn the regime described in George Orwell's "1984" a reality for a significant percentage of the world's population. Remains to see if the rest of the world can figure out what to do and stop this from happening.