The latest dystopian nightmare AI just dropped — and it's raising a lot of questions that are absolutely NOT answered by its social media announcement.
As The Times of London reports, China's Hefei Comprehensive National Science Center announced the development of a program featuring "artificial intelligence empowering party-building" last week in a post on Weibo, the country's second-largest social media platform.
In the lead-up to the Chinese Communist Party's July 1 anniversary, the Heifei Center said in the since-deleted post's text, which was transcribed and translated by Radio Free Asia, that its new program would assuage the "problem" of "guaranteeing the quality of party-member activities."
Translation: this artificial intelligence, though many details remain hazy, can purportedly determine party member loyalty.
"This equipment is a kind of smart ideology, using AI technology to extract and integrate facial expressions, EEG readings and skin conductivity," RFA's translation of the initial Weibo post reads, "making it possible to ascertain the levels of concentration, recognition and mastery of ideological and political education so as to better understand its effectiveness."
According to the Times, the equipment was tested by reading brain waves and analyzing facial scans while subjects read articles about the CCP, which then translated to a loyalty "score." And yeah, that's quite sketchy-sounding.
If this story sets off alarm bells, it does so for good reason — the concept of a mind-reading political AI device that tests one's loyalty to party and country sounds more like something out of "1984" than 2022.
Of course, China doesn't have a monopoly on ominous AI.
From the many problems with police use of facial recognition software to a new algorithm that can reportedly "predict" future crimes developed by the University of Chicago to the often-discriminatory AIs used to determine whether or not someone is eligible for a loan, AI is already creeping into many people's lives in invasive and totalitarian ways.
And yes, the development of an AI that uses biometrics to supposedly judge how loyal someone is to a party or nation does indeed seem like a great tool for political repression — and there's no reason to believe, in spite of our Defense Department's pinky-swear promise not to use AI unethically, that if and when the Chinese perfect this tech, we Americans won't be buying it for ourselves and our allies.
READ MORE: Chinese AI ‘can check loyalty of party members’ [The Times of London]
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