The Communist Party of China will not be pleased: the European Union leaders think of banning using artificial intelligence (AI) for mass surveillance and social credit scores.
According to leaked news, the EU is considering many other AI uses to forbid, but these two are the most important.
The People’s Republic of China has been boasting that its law enforcement can find anybody anywhere anytime. They are able to do it within just a few minutes. Their AI equipment is as advanced as anybody’s, they explain.
It must come as a frightful surprise, shock, even, to the ruling Beijing mandarins that the EU, an organisation known as hopelessly leftist (and that’s putting it tactfully, beyond discreetly) would question their policy of Orwellian Big-Brotherism, and that it would do it so unscrupulously.
What is it?
Artificial Intelligence is whatever anyone decides to define it as.
When Czech writer Karel Čapek wrote his play named R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) in 1920, he could have hardly expected that the word “robot” would become an integral part of so many languages (and that only very few writers who would be using it, would know its origin, Isaac Asimov being one of them).
Basically, robots employed by a Mr. Rossum would decide they had enough of doing what they are ordered to do, and they would start an uprising.
The word “robot” itself is an expression slightly changed from the original Czech word “robota,” meaning statute labour in the times of serfdom.
Interestingly, and those who haven’t learnt their Czech yet ought to be ashamed, the name of the robots’ owner itself is dripping with sarcastic irony: the word “rozum” equals reason in English, as in ability to think.
So, creating robots that do their masters’ thinking artificially, told only what the objective would be, has been as shortsighted as anything can get, with one exception: it helps those who would like to control the masses of population.
A video used to circulate on the world’s social media a few years ago. A People’s Republic of China official posted it. It showed a person, an alleged dissident, who got a call from another dissident, to meet at a pre-arranged (and thus, unnamed in the phone conversation) spot. The call was intercepted, of course, and using face recognition devices, the authorities had that dissident on their screens within seconds, cameras relaying his movement from one block to another, until the spot where he met the other guy, and before they could express any dissent, they were both arrested.
The European Union, on one hand, does everything possible to control each and every citizen of each and every of its member countries.
On the other hand, it introduced something known as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR for short), a set of rules to protect everybody’s privacy. It has been in force since May 25, 2018, and even the transnational worldwide companies, such as Google, Twitter or Facebook, must comply to be allowed to operate anywhere within the EU territory.
Many, if not most, of today’s EU leaders claim Maoist past. And, as well, many, if not most, of today’s EU leaders are on board with Klaus Martin Schwab’s (of the World Economic Forum infamy) Great Reset, a.k.a. fourth industrial revolution.
They seem somewhat unsure when the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s genocidal plans top the agenda: they are all agog about the Gates climate change claim. In light of the latest developments, they are not altogether certain about vaccination. And the eugenics ideas promoted by the Gates duo, while sounding attractive to many of the EU poohbahs, still leaves them shaking in their boots: memories of Adolf Hitler still hit too close to home.
They are not so sure, either, about George Soros and his Open Societies that clamour for a one-world government, controlled formally by the United Nations Organisation, but subordinated to persons and groups unknown. Where would this arrangement leave them, with all those benefits and perks they’ve been enjoying at taxpayers’ expense?
Again, here enters the one hand, and the other: they all of a sudden find themselves defending Europeans’ privacy, and ditching extraordinary tools of controlling the masses, including Artificial Intelligence.
Against the grain?
Depends on whom you ask. The EU sees the solution in telling member states to set up something they call assessment boards to decide which of the AI applications are kosher and which aren’t.
Anew: on the one hand, shocking, as the Brussels EU head office will share power with individual countries, something it hasn’t done in decades. On the other hand, while many countries will decide to curb the use of AI not only to snitch on its own citizens (jó napot kívánok, Orbán Viktor úr, and dzień dobry, panie Morawiecki) but altogether, many others (Grüßgott, Frau Merkel, Bon Jour, Monsieur Macron, and dobrý den, pane Babiši) will be much more lenient.
After all, they can use not only China, but a number of North American jurisdictions for their examples, too.
Many municipalities in Canada quite openly install all kinds of closed-circuit television systems on their ways and byways, telling citizens who dare ask that they’re doing it in their own interest, so nobody can rob them and go unpunished, and rot like that.
In any case, those who develop or dare sell AI software that is on the banned list in the EU could face fines up to four per cent of what they make globally. And that includes those who are based elsewhere in the world.
No wonder then that the U.S. high-tech giants have been doing all they can to get rid of pesky local governments, and, in their warped view that is based on ignorance and sheer illiteracy, European Union is one of those.
Herewith the rules:
While, it seems, the list below is not really complete, it is impressive as it is, anyhow.
- A ban on AI for “indiscriminate surveillance,” including systems that directly track individuals in physical environments or aggregate data from other sources.
- A ban on AI systems that create social credit scores, which means judging someone’s trustworthiness based on social behaviour or predicted personality traits.
- Special authorization for using “remote biometric identification systems” like facial recognition in public spaces.
- Notifications required when people are interacting with an AI system, unless this is “obvious from the circumstances and the context of use”.
- New oversight for “high-risk” AI systems, including those that pose a direct threat to safety, like self-driving cars, and those that have a high chance of affecting someone’s livelihood, like those used for job hiring, judiciary decisions, and credit scoring.
- Assessment for high-risk systems before they’re put into service, including making sure these systems are explicable to human overseers and that they’re trained on “high quality” datasets tested for bias.
- The creation of a “European Artificial Intelligence Board,” consisting of representatives from every nation-state, to help the commission decide which AI systems count as “high-risk” and to recommend changes to prohibitions.
Pay special attention: the new set of rules bans using AI for mass surveillance and social credit scores.
Great or awful?
While perhaps too vague, it definitely is a start, optimists suggest.
Other experts are shrugging, doubting the whole thing to its roots.
Speaking, for example, about sections that regulate systems that might cause people to “behave, form an opinion or take a decision to their detriment,” they say these rules are too vague.
Besides, the devil’s in the detail, and that’s where reading the full text of the proposal becomes tedious, tiring and exceedingly boring.
How, more than a few experts ask, can a government decide whether a decision that had been influenced by AI was to someone’s detriment or not?
And: no matter how you slice it, the new proposals reflect perfectly the European Union’s approach to everything: when in doubt, regulate.
To come back full-circle to the question, namely, whether the EU is defying the New World Order proposals or not, here’s the answer: no. It’s just found a different way of getting there.