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 Technocratic AI Totalitarism

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After a FB ban of a fellow journalist I had an idea, what is internet practices would be implemeented in the real world with AI used to run technocratic totalitarian regime.

Internet is controlled by few global monopolies. They have big data on all of what you do in internet. They alsou have AI for targeted adds and bans. There is a common misconception of what AI is. Artificial Intelligence takeing ower the world is fantasy. It's just a machine like your vacuum cleaner. However it could be a great tool of control.

In Singapoore they alredy have microphons on streets recording if you say certain bad words. USA is fighting just China so the free media don't say that.

Everyone will have their own QR-code, covid pass and the social capital. If you cross the street on red light you 'll be recorded. They could detect key words you say, then unite this with your payment data, travell history, what you have bought and so on. No KGB could do that, only AI could integrate all of this together.

Say if you go on street a microphone will alert you to stop crossing the street on red light, buying high cholesterine food and you should like your goverment more. Alsou "we have a great offer of shoes just two quartals away".

Then you go home and open your refrigerator, and Internet of Things will warn you about too mutch of saturated fats you are takeing and that so late you should not eat any food. Alsou it will give an advice to buy a coca-cola.
On pluging your steam iron to the eletricity, it connects to the internet and will remark you about the upcoming elections...

As you sit on your marble throne it will lecture you about paying your bills, how lucky you are with the democraty and finaly suggest to be the economical with a paper.

If you recieve negative social capital AI will begin to publicly shame you. Between the adds a microphone in supermarket will point to you, "everyone look at Edgar, he is not a loyal citizen as he was posting offensive things about the goverment and Facebook. Don't believe him as he had forgot to pay for the eletricity and he was wrong on Google."
Hovewer if you don't take a notice and your social capital turns very negative you will be forced to wear the yellow badge on a clothes (of corse with QR-code) or recieve the ban from a prestigious locations.



--- Quote from: Alef on July 05, 2021, 03:16:56 PM ---In Singapoore they alredy have microphons on streets recording if you say certain bad words.

--- End quote ---

They know the future depicted in "Demolition Man" was supposed to be satire, rather than a recommendation for how to actually build utopia, right?

That was nice movie. All of the utopias had good intentions (in their understanding of what good is) until they took power by revolution and forced it on population.

Totalitarianism isn't new. Some storytellers got famous for writing novels such as "Animal Farm", "1984", or "Brave New World".

Our human imagination usually does not suffice to fathom the ingenuity or stupidity of the corresponding regimes. For example, Isaac Asimov, himself a renowned Science Fiction writer, once criticized "1984" for being totally unrealistic, because the bureaucratic apparatus needed for total surveillance would weigh down the community and cripple any productivity.

But as a matter of fact, the soviet half of Germany did indeed have a system of informal collaborators which was huge. Estimates say that over a quarter of the population would serve as an informant at least once in their life, not out of malice or cluelessness, but because every single governmental office or institution was made part of the network. And many inquiries seemed entirely harmless to the ordinary folks, seemingly unrelated to the oppressive side of government.

Everything was on file (paper, not computer). One wonders what that government could have done if they had had computers instead of typewriters.

And as to AI, there is another SF novel which struck me as incredibly realistic about the spontaneous awakening of an artificial sentience; "Stand on Zanzibar" by John Brunner. It's only a side plot in an overall rather dystopian story. But what seemed especially realistic to me was that the human experts do not recognize the spontaneous awakening of the AI, but mistake it for some kind of bug. I won't spoil the details here ... the author presents it as a bittersweet joke.

New technology and authoritarianism (in any of it's shapes) have a strange relationship.

Religion has used the written word as a tool to preserve their power. First exclusively in Latin to exclude the common people. Then using the book prints to spread the word. Only to find out some years later, that the same techniques can be used to spread other world views.

It's not new technology which is the problem, but the imbalance of wealth and power that drives some groups to abuse these technologies. Their goal is to stabilize the imbalance, but naturally this won't hold forever.

At the moment I think there is a silent ongoing fight for power between companies and countries. Since they work on totally different levels, they have not been able to formally declare war on each other. Also there is no single group of companies VS one (group of) countries. Most of the current knowledge on big data, AI, monitoring, surveillance is not with the states anymore, it's at the global companies!


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