Government seeks to control people from the inside
China’s aim to control its population through technology doesn’t seem to stop like in the worst dystopian movie. According to a recent report, the Chinese government is allegedly using state-of-the-art artificial intelligence to track the thoughts of numerous Communist party officials.
Chinese scientists apparently created software that can scan facial expressions and brain activity to determine whether people were paying attention to “thought and political education”, two fundamental factors for the government.
Over the past ten years, China’s strict police state has dramatically expanded, leveraging big data, machine learning, face recognition technology, and artificial intelligence to create what many have called the most sophisticated digital dictatorship in the world where all is designed to get people grateful to the party, listen to the party and follow the party.
This new mind-reading technology was seen in a short video, where a subject was shown scrolling through exercises promoting party doctrine while glancing at the screen at a kiosk. Researchers claim that the kiosk’s technology was able to record facial expressions and pin down their responses to specific information. On July 1st, the video report was published, however now it is no longer available.
On the one hand, it can evaluate how party members have embraced political education and ideas. But it will also offer accurate information for thought and political education so that it can be enhanced and improved.
President Xi, secretary of the Communist Party and head of the country, has vowed utter allegiance to the party and previously stated that “thought and political education” is a crucial component of the ideology of the ruling party.
Study Times, a state-sponsored publication in China, reported on the development of similar artificial intelligence in 2019. The publication claimed algorithms could be used to “gauge the thought condition of party members” and ensure that content can “go into the head and the heart of party members”.
This measure is only the latest in President Xi Jinping’s unrelenting pursuit of a technological dystopia for the biggest country on Earth.
That’s why a digital social credit system tracking a score is increasingly popular in some parts of China. Those who are deemed unreliable by the government, run the risk of losing fundamental rights.
China can be seen as a demonstration on how technology could be used for negative purposes. The power of A.I. could be worse than a prison because its capabilities can foresee your action and block you before you do anything considered wrong. Anticipating your moves is not just control but it’s like owning your soul.