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Dystopian Surveillance in Chinese Classrooms – AI and Drones

Dystopian Surveillance in Chinese Classrooms – AI and Drones

Imagine you’re a Chinese student gearing up for the gaokao, the grueling college entrance exam, which can make or break your future. You’re already feeling like cattle being herded into the exam room when you notice the buzzing overhead. Nope, it’s not your anxiety peaking—it’s a drone. And not just one, but an entire AI surveillance system designed to catch cheaters.

Welcome to the dystopian world of Chinese education, where your every move is monitored by the eye in the sky. The Chinese Communist Party has taken the phrase “big brother is watching you” to an entirely new level. It’s not just about preventing cheating anymore; it’s about maintaining absolute control over the herd.

The gaokao, China’s make-or-break exam, sees over 13 million students stressfully trotting into exam centers, eyes wide with a mix of fear and resignation. To ensure no one steps out of line, provinces like Guangdong and Shandong have deployed an “artificial intelligent patrol system.” This Orwellian technology processes massive amounts of surveillance video to detect even the slightest hint of cheating. Think you’ve got a slick way to outsmart the system with hidden earpieces or tiny cameras? Think again. AI is trained to spot every twitch, every suspicious movement, and send alerts faster than you can say “Gaokao.”

The dark comedy here is that AI isn’t flawless. It still needs humans to double-check its alarms. So, essentially, we’re herding students with a high-tech shepherd and a backup human shepherd to ensure no lamb strays fromthe flock. It’s a perfect blend of man and machine, working tirelessly to keep students in check.

But it gets better. Imagine the invigilators, once tasked with merely walking up and down the aisles, now transformed into tech-savvy overseers. They receive AI-generated alerts on their tablets, rushing to the scene of the suspected crime like a SWAT team responding to a high-stakes situation. “Student 27 looked left for 2.5 seconds too long! Investigate immediately!” And off they go, ready to catch any potential cheater red-handed.

The stakes are incredibly high. Since 2016, cheating on the gaokao can land you in jail for up to seven years. That’s right, a desperate attempt to pass a test can turn you from a student into a criminal. The government isn’t just herding students; it’s branding them like cattle, ready to be punished if they dare deviate from the path set out for them.

And let’s not forget the drones. Hovering above like mechanical vultures, they scan the exam centers with an unblinking eye, capturing every detail. In some places, facial recognition technology ensures that no impostors slip through. Fingerprint scans are just the cherry on top of this surveillance sundae. The lengths to which the authorities go to maintain control are both impressive and terrifying.

It’s almost funny, in a dark way, how technology has evolved to keep students in line. From metal detectors to cellphone signal blockers, and now AI and drones, each advancement represents another layer of control. The message is clear: study hard, obey the rules, and maybe—just maybe—you’ll get through unscathed.

Yet, amidst this high-tech spectacle, one can’t help but feel the dehumanizing effects. Students are no longer individuals striving for their future; they’re components in a massive, monitored machine, their every move scrutinized by an omnipresent authority. It’s a grim reminder that in the pursuit of order and fairness, the Chinese Communist Party has created an environment where students are treated less like people and more like pieces on a chessboard, moved and controlled to maintain the status quo.

So, as you sit there under the watchful eye of AI and drones, remember: in the grand scheme of things, you’re just another cow in the herd, trying to navigate the pasture without stepping out of line. The government might catch every whisper and glance, but the real tragedy is how it has turned the quest for knowledge into a high-stakes game of cat and mouse, where the odds are always in favor of the house.

And remember, China has ambitions for spreading its way of life around the world. Is this what you want for your children? Or the kind of surveillance you want at your job, or in your house?

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21 Comments

  1. frank stetson

    So is Oliver suggesting that to be free we need to cast off any attempt to determine cheaters? It’s better to cheat than to catch a cheater? Wait, the test takers are in a fish bowl and Oliver is upset they are watching the fish? There’s something fishy going on here, I fin Oliver is a Pisces and working for scale.

    Will he extend this to felonies some day? Like it wasn’t the hush money to stop the voter from knowing he likes spanky sex with strangers when wifey is preggy, it was the guys looking at his books. Or it wasn’t the fake electors trying to steal the 2020, it was the guys watching them try to fake us out.

    Is this just a set-up to get us to agree that it’s not the felony, but the ones protecting us from the felons?

    Reply
    • Archie

      Better to cheat than to catch a cheater? Right out of the democrats playbook Just don’t do it again. I’m not kidding.

      Reply
    • Americafirst

      If you know or knew how a game is played, you are also guilty of it! How do you know Trump was guilty? We want you to prove it. Someday someone will take you to court to prove it. Tom will be included. It will be a court for traitors. Your mind is do damned dark you are absolutely pathetic and EVIL! Oh, I can’t wait for your beratement on this one. I half suspect you of being one of the tunnel criminals.

      Reply
      • Frank stetson

        Wow, AF:u seem to equate free speech with treason. How quaint.

        Prove Turnip guilty of what? So many to choose from.

        Reply
    • Joe Gilbertson

      Once again you have missed the entire point of the article. Cheating is not the issue. Robot and AI used in surveillance is an issue. Did you know that in China they are proposing a “social” score, where if you are not nice to people your score goes down and you may not be able to get on a public bus? Or perhaps you will not be allow to go to the movies or to the sporting event you wanted to go to. This is the level of control China is seeking.

      Surveillance technology is dangerous, and should not be generally applied. Take it from someone who knows.

      Reply
      • frank stetson

        Once again? When was the last time or are you just talkin out your ass? If this story was about privacy and technology in the US, why not just say it in the story? I mean saying China has it so citizens in the US should worry seems to hint about who controlling your world…….

        I just took it to a higher level and said: “any attempt to determine cheaters,” as in all inclusive spying including the new tech shit you mentioned. Posing the question based on that higher-order of thinking than yours that “It’s better to cheat than to catch a cheater?”

        While I enjoy my privacy, and the concept of privacy, I do understand the need to be more observant in the modern age. I choose to try to retain as much privacy as possible within the confines of modern technology. As I age, my needs for privacy become less. I used to only deal in cash, for privacy. Now i deal mostly in credit because I don’t care who knows what I buy. I am convinced, even with AI, they are too stupid to do much damage to me. I have little issues with it because it’s the cost of doing business in America. Compared to the UK, we have far less cameras for instance, and I would love more. It’s takes a village and I like my village to be watched over.

        For myself, I am pretty much off the grid, at least as best I can. Drones will have to work really hard to find me, not even sure what AI offers as surveillance benefits, seems like a scary word to describe nascent at best. But again, them moving faster sounds good and of little risk for me. But I really don’t worry to much. I think AI may make those billions of cameras on the highway have more value. I often wondered who-TF actually looks at those clips unless AI starts doing it for us. Then, maybe, we can get ahead of more of this. And that’s the point, so far, the AI is not driving the car, it’s just providing much more pickup and acceleration. It can take all those camera feeds and make guesses about what’s happening that humans can then act on. Since there are too many cameras, humans really can’t do this themselves in real time. So, that’s a good thing from AI and really, only more and better of what we already have.

        It’s not that I don’t believe in Big Brother, I do. Maybe systemic, maybe purposeful, don’t care. I just believe it’s better for me to follow the law, learn to be as discreet and off the grid as possible, and trust Americans want to help Americans most of the time. It’s easier to focus on living with it, than fighting against it, especially since I understand the need for it in the modern world.

        Back on point: I took my first NYState Regents in 7th grade and never have had a more rigorous testing workout. Lost 10 pounds and slept for two days after. Made SATs and GMATs, and even LSAT’s look like a quiz. Hell with worrying about the droids, I was just trying not to hyperventilate. Thanks for bringing back those repressed memories.

        Reply
  2. frank stetson

    Archie. That was Oliver saying that. He’s on your side, Sherlock…..

    I keep telling you that we will continue to do what we have been doing. If you’re not kidding, whatya waiting fer? We did what we did, we already are doing it some more, and we will do it again. We did nothing wrong, so why would we change? Your side is going to jail, left and right, I would suggest examining that game plan of yours. Seems that you are not competent enough to break the law and not get caught.

    So whaya waiting fer? I am telling you we will do EXACTLY what we have done before. Come to NJ, we have a State full of Democrats.

    Reply
    • Archie

      I know. That’s what’s wrong with NJ

      Reply
      • frank Stetson

        I guess you are kidding then.

        Reply
  3. Tom

    Another Oliver article about something Americans should not care about. Let China deal with dishonesty prevention they way they wish. Why should that matter to us?

    Reply
    • Joe Gilbertson

      If it is normalized in China, it will spread. And we do, as a free people, care about human rights in other parts of the world.

      Reply
      • frank stetson

        Joe, that’s fair enough, but I still don’t care. I say let’s catch the bad guys and IF we use it against citizens, use the law to crush the perpetrators or make new law to make them stop. Look for the win win I say.

        Reply
  4. Americafirst

    Oh, stetson – your reply about freedom of speech? That’s exactly what you are trying to take away from all of us you berate like a two-year-old does! Grow the F up! You prove it every single time. Go back and read your f’d up replies.

    Reply
    • frank Stetson

      Faulty logic AF, u equate Trump’s physical actions to end free speech where he paid people to stop the presses and to run fake news that benefitted him. Pecker admitted all on the record, the written records implicated Trump himself. He is a convicted felon over this.

      I, on the other hand, am exercising free speech. If the effect is for people not posting, that’s a choice that they made, I did not physically make the choice for them as did your man Trump. For example, you berating me using the f-word, does not curtail my free speech where I might come back and note you should blow it our your ass because you are BUSTED for mixing apples with oranges and coming up prunes.

      Reply
      • Americafirst

        Stetson, YOU opened the door by telling me to stfu! Have you got dementia or convenient memory loss? You are guilty, period. You just hate it when it comes right back in your face, don’t you? Now be a good little boy and apologize to all the people you so want to disappear off the face of the earth. I hope you continue to reply so we can get you back every time.

        Reply
        • frank stetson

          AFu are wrong as to my attack on free speech, and you offered no proof. As to the rest of your fruit from your poisonous tree —- I’ll just stick to the tree. You accused me of “– your reply about freedom of speech? That’s exactly what you are trying to take away from all of us you berate like a two-year-old does!” You offer no proof and I am certain that two-year olds do not do this.

          The only time “STFU” appears in this thread is when you used it. I did not use it, I did not tell you on this thread to STFU.

          I have never suggested anyone ” disappear off the face of the earth,” much less “all the people.”

          And I am glad to give you your desire to “get you back every time” although you have not defined who “we” may be. I am hoping that “we” is not just you although at this point, based on the evidence I have provided, the words deranged or deluded come to mind since you are so very, very, wrong in your assumptions and conclusions about this most unimportant passage.

          Vent on, MacDuff, vent on. Always good to intelligently focus on the issues versus personalities.

          Reply
          • Americafirst

            I do not under any circumstances have to offer any proof to the likes of you. You are not my handler or controller. You do not own me. You are being watched and recorded. If I were you, I’d be very careful of what is said. You cannot take away our constitutional rights as you have been trying to do with your filth you display openly to all. You cannot scare people off with your anti-American rhetoric. Get that through your head before you really get in trouble as you are already at the precipice.

  5. frank Stetson

    If you can not or will not provide proof, facts, or evidence, then we have absolutely nothing to discuss.

    As to your issues with me personally: enjoy!

    Reply
    • Joe Gilbertson

      pot, kettle

      Reply
  6. frank stetson

    Are you saying I do not provide proof, facts, or evidence Mr. Gilbertson?

    Got an example?

    Reply
  7. Americafirst

    Stetson, problem is the proof you want from us is from our work to find it. We tell you the truth. The truth is out there. You are too freaking lazy to go and search it out for yourself. What are you? @ yrs. old? Do the research yourself. Didn’t you learn how to research in school? I already told you to look Derek Johnson up. He is a disabled but young veteran. He knows the entire Law of War Manual which you are too stupid to learn or even read it. He will tell you all about the Pentagon, Generals, Trump and much more. So do not ever tell me to give you proof. I already tried. Okay, Mr. Moron!

    Reply

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