Mind Matters News and Analysis on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

TagChina

China and Australia puzzles from flags, 3D rendering

Weighing the Costs of China’s High-Tech Power

Western nations like New Zealand, Australia, and Canada must weigh Beijing’s demands carefully

Smaller Western countries, dependent on high-tech cooperation and the promise of huge markets in China, have muted their protests over Hong Kong and even accept Chinese government censorship in their own territories. That can put them in conflict with their own stated values.

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One belt one road. New Chinese trade silk road. map infographics

Why China Leans Hard on Central Asia

The region is critical to China’s ambitions, hence the generous offers of state-of-the-art surveillance technology

Where is all of the data going and where is it stored? The short answer is China. The Central Asian countries’ current laws do not adequately protect their citizens’ privacy. In fact, most countries in the world do not have adequate laws to deal with the potential harms of facial recognition technology.

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asian business woman in a heated discussion

How Tech Savvy Helps Hong Kong Hold Off China

Several other factors help, including spirituality and a sense of unique identity as Hongkongers

The stakes are high. Hongkongers have been energized by the dramatic recent win for democracy at the polls. But so have the police.

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May Name is, Free Hong Kong.

Tiananmen Square 30 Years On: Words Still Have Power

Back then, students fought oppression via the fax. They depended on free media in Hong Kong to tell the world

The Chinese government has described the Hong Kong protests as violent riots by extremists. And, as with mainland China’s reports on Tiananmen Square, the abuses by police in Hong Kong have been scrubbed from the Chinese internet, while violence by protesters has been highlighted.

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2 million protesters stand out to oppose a controversial extradition bill on June 16 2019 hong kong

Hi-Tech Freedom Game in Hong Kong

Technology can oppress a people group or it can give them a voice

In the end, technology, like any tool, depends on who wields it and whether they use it to help people or to control them.

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Hong Kong Protesters

How Business in China Becomes Ethically Expensive

Hong Kong raises the cost of rights and freedoms rhetoric steeply. Many advocates are bowing out

Apple had once positioned itself in opposition to Big Brother. The NBA had been a strong advocate of social justice. But with Hong Kong, they suddenly caved to Beijing. What’s at stake?

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Hong Kong Protests pleafor peace Erin Song Unsplash B05XahTDS6k

Hong Kong: Face Mask Ban Fuels Fiercer Protest

The masks, like many of the protesters’ strategies, circumvent China’s omnipresent high-tech surveillance

The Chinese government may use violent behavior as a justification for obliterating the Hongkongers’ prized freedoms. As a possible precedent, the Uyghur people, as a whole, were painted as religious extremists, even though only about 1,000 people participated in violent protests.

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USA and China trade war. US of America and Chinese flags crashed containers on sky at sunset background. 3d illustration

US vs. China: Trade Wars Kill Businesses Rather Than People

That’s why we don’t hear so many songs about them

Trade wars are important even if they often sound boring compared with other news. One panel at COSM will examine the underlying issues in the ongoing trade spats between the United States and China.

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Hong Kong 2019 protests Peter Y. Chuang Unsplash peter-y-chuang-LWzjqzhLjiA-unsplash

Can China Really Silence Hong Kong?

Hong Kong is tech-savvy and the protesters are adept at defeating even high-tech terrors

Some protestors use umbrellas to block the view of newly installed surveillance cameras while others dismantle the electronics. Others place traffic cones over tear gas canisters and then neutralize the gas with water.

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China Button

The Unadvertised Cost of Doing Business with China

It’s a big market, with one Big Player, and some strange rules
In China, censorship includes democracy, human rights, sex, George Orwell’s 1984, and Winnie-the-Pooh (because the stuffed literary bear has been compared by some Chinese bloggers to their President). Such censorship, say many, minimizes the value of the internet. Read More ›
Brain icon hologram with office interior on background. Double exposure. Concept of education

How Far Has AI Mindreading Come?

Further than we may think. And some trends are troubling
It’s becoming easier all the time to read signals from the human brain. But there are few or no safeguards, even in the free world, on who has a right to use the information and how. Read More ›
3d rendering head voice recognition system of blue ground

China: What You Didn’t Say Could Be Used Against You

An AI voiceprint could be used to generate words never said
Given the Chinese government’s loose interpretation of “counterterrorism” actions, there is a concern that such voice cloning could be used to incriminate religious minorities or those who do not show appropriate loyalty to the governing CCP. Read More ›
San Francisco aerial view from sea side. Port of San Francisco in the front. City downtown and skyscrapers at sunrise.

A Silicon Valley Insider Asks the Awkward Questions

Billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel, speaking at COSM in October, has a history of challenging Valley orthodoxies

His question, “How can Google use the rhetoric of ‘borderless’ benefits to justify working with the country whose ‘Great Firewall’ has imposed a border on the internet itself?”, is timely. China’s government uses high tech for, among other things, sophisticated racial profiling.

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dita, mano, dna, scienza, biologia

In China, high-tech racial profiling is social policy

For an ethnic minority, a physical checkup includes blood samples, fingerprints, iris scans, and voice recordings

The Chinese government seeks a database of everyone in the country, not only to track individuals but to determine the ethnicity of those who run up against the law.

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Young man (backpacker, hitchhiker) on the high-speed highway not far from Kashgar in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, in China’s far west

The Internet Doesn’t Free Anyone by Itself

China is testing 100% surveillance on the Uighurs, a strategically critical minority

The Uyghur people in Xinjiang province in northwest China spend their lives in a digital panopticon. Over 2.5 million Muslims are tracked via facial recognition software and cameras, and their cell phone monitored for any language that could be construed as religious. Over a million have been placed in so-called “vocational training centers” that are widely described as detention camps. Even when not detained, they live like prisoners: For Uyghurs in Xinjiang, any kind of contact from a non-Chinese phone number, though not officially illegal, can result in instant arrest. Most Uyghurs in Turkey have been deleted by their families on social media. And many wouldn’t dare try to make contact, for fear Chinese authorities would punish their relatives. Isobel Read More ›

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Chinese Technocracy Surges Ahead with AI Surveillance

So what do the reservations expressed, about “the soul” and “love,” really mean?

Both big tech entrepreneurs Kai-Fu Lee and Jack Ma seem to believe in souls but do not believe that souls can be trusted with freedom, the way governments can.

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Aerial view of Harare

China’s AI Package for Africa Includes Mass Surveillance Technology

Africa sees development aid; China sees an expanding African database
Freedom House ranks China at 14/100 and Zimbabwe 30/100 in terms of freedoms. So it is not likely that Zimbabwe will become more free by cooperating with China to increase surveillance, even if the effort reduces crime, as hoped. Read More ›
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George Gilder seated before speech at book launch

George Gilder: Why Does Google Seem To Be Having a Corporate Nervous Breakdown?

Gilder tells Forbes that its whole culture is “kind of self-defeating and wrong.”

"This whole business of aggregating people by giving them free stuff—in order to collect data to provide guidance for advertisers—it’s just a circuitous means of a business plan that I don’t think will finally prevail."

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Hanging from a heart, graffiti on white wall

Will AI Teach Us to Love Big Brother?

A trend watcher fears that we’ll accept total surveillance if it controls crime and addiction

If China becomes the dominant world power through total control, David Mattin argues, it will erode the Western world’s governing myth that liberal democracy is the best system.

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army-military-museum-9250

Military Technology and AI

Past, Present, and Future

Technology, including AI, needs protection. Intellectual property of corporations needs protected from espionage. Military technology needs protection from foreign agents. Show Notes 01:10 | Introduction; Daniel M. Ogden, J.D. 02:20 | Technology in the military history 08:00 | WWII technology; Norton Gun Site 12:20 | Banning AI autonomous weapons 16:48 | Slaughterbots 18:13 | Military AI endgame 18:55 | Other Read More ›