China’s artificial intelligence program known as the “City Brain” has decreased both the traffic and crime in Hangzhou, but it’s at the cost of the Chinese citizens’ privacy.
The population’s social media activity, the commutes of the citizens, what they are buying, who they are interacting with, and their general movements are all being “tracked” since the program started back in October of 2016.
Citizens get updates from the system about the traffic and what alternative routes are available, while authorities are getting real-time alerts about criminal activity.
“Traffic congestion is down, road accidents are automatically detected and responded to faster, and illegal parking is tracked in real time. If someone breaks the law, they too can be tracked throughout the city before being picked up by the police,” writes New Scientist. “Using hundreds of thousands of cameras dotted throughout the city, Alibaba can track almost every car on every road. It can instantly detect crashes, blockages or parking violations, and automatically notify the police to deal with them. The system can predict the traffic flow 10 minutes ahead of time with 90 percent accuracy and responds by changing traffic light patterns to even out congestion. It can even send text messages to people to help them plan different routes.”
Citizens in Hangzhou don’t have the option to opt out of the program either.
Apparently, the residents of the city aren’t too concerned about how the system violates their privacy.
Xian-Sheng Hua, the Alibaba AI Manager who oversees the “City Brain” project says that “in China, people have less concern with privacy, which allows us to move faster.”
Hua made this statement in early October while discussing the success of the project at the World Summit AI meeting. “City Brain is about comprehensive cognition,” said Hua.
Since the A.I. program has led to a decline in crime and traffic, Alibaba will be expanding the system to other cities in China. The company also has plans to implement similar projects in other cities around the world.
This is just the latest move by the government to control its public. The Communist Party employs market regulators to control the stock market and has production companies to produce propaganda films.
But the country doesn’t only spy on its own citizens. China spends between $3 billion and $4 billion on intelligence gathering. China’s spy network allegedly has 25,000 well-trained agents.
“They have successfully penetrated all the major defense weapons suppliers of the US government,” said Guo Wengui, a exiled billionaire who was once privy to China’s intelligence network. “The scale of their operations is mind-boggling.”
Author’s note: This project is just giving the Chinese Government more power to control every aspect of peoples lives. The scary thing is that the Chinese public is conditioned to not question how their privacy is being violated. Citizens are censored and can’t express their real political opinions, especially if they are different than what the government wants them to believe. They are anything but free and could be silenced at any time. T
Editor’s note: This is a totalitarian nightmare and it will get worse before it gets better.