Tag China

Posts: 3

My Chinese Big Brother - Part 2

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Coming on the heels of "I told you so," China is using facial recognition to make sure you're a good Chinese citizen.

Authorities in Shenzhen, China, have set up artificial intelligence-powered CCTV cameras to scan the faces of those who jaywalk at major intersections and display their identities on large LED screens for all to see.

If that isn’t punishment enough, plans are now in place to link the current system with cellular technology, so offenders will also be sent a text message with a fine as soon as they are caught crossing the road against traffic lights. via Newsweek

It gets worse, they're already generating a social credit score for it's citizens to determine whether or not you can travel on a train or plane.

Chinese authorities will begin revoking the travel privileges of those with low scores on its so-called “social credit system,” which ranks Chinese citizens based on comprehensive monitoring of their behavior. Those who fall afoul of the system could be blocked from rail and air travel for up to a year.

and,

But its CEO has said, in an eerie prefiguring of the new travel restrictions, that its system “will ensure that the bad people in society don’t have a place to go, while good people can move freely and without obstruction.” An Ant Financial spokesperson described that statement as referring to “the common good that a high trust-based society can bring in a generic sense. This is a widely used phrase in Chinese culture.” via Fortune

This is unprecedented and smells like something out of 1984.

Update: I stumbled across this article on how China is using facial recognition to thwart/stop toilet paper thieves. You only get 40 to 80 centimeters of toilet paper at a time.

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My Chinese Big Brother

One of my Asian friends recently posted a link to a terrifying use of Machine Learning. This is what I call the “dark side” of this field, the use of machine learning by a government to make you behave a certain way.

1984’s Big Brother

China is building its own version of 1984’s Big Brother, a massive scoring system that’s probably a large scale classification algorithm most likely sitting on top of a Big Data structure like Hadoop. I call this an utter and complete abuse of machine learning.

The government hasn’t announced exactly how the plan will work — for example, how scores will be compiled and different qualities weighted against one another. But the idea is that good behavior will be rewarded and bad behavior punished, with the Communist Party acting as the ultimate judge.

Yes, we use classification and scoring system in everyday commerce. Banks use it to grade your credit card worthiness. Businesses use it to determine your propensity to buy their product. This project goes beyond all that.

Social Trust

China wants to learn if you say and do anything to break “social trust.”

They will scrap online sources available and assign you a score. This score will determine your trustworthiness. How they define trustworthiness remains the question.

This can manipulated and gamed. Questionable data quality can lead to misclassification and mistakes and Chinese people will suffer those consequences.

IMHO China’s drive for a harmonious society with a “Asian Big Brother” will only hasten it’s demise.

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Chinese Inspired Global Investment Rally

If the world follows the typical supply and demand economic theory, we are about to witness the beginning of a major global rally. The Chinese government recently loosened laws allowing its banks to invest indirectly in foreign equities and derivative products. China currently sits on $4.8 trillion dollars worth of reserve assets, of which it wants to slowly inject a percentage into the global markets over the next several years.

The end result will be more money chasing fewer assets and prices going through the roof! I'm glad I'm long all the way in our 401K's. The trick will be to get out right before the party ends.

Related: China grants Blackstone $3B to invest abroad (via CNN)

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Neural Market Trends is the online home of Thomas Ott.