AI Races: China vs The US-led West, and Governing Bodies vs Their Citizens.
Periodical reminder that 1984 is a story about a totalitarian system built by Anglos, and not some Commie-bashing euphemism; Bolshevist Russia and Eastasia stand as independent and equally repugnant blocs in his vision. It is always maddening to see the abuse of Orwell's warning. But no matter.
We’re in a geo-political strategic conflict with China,” he said. “The way to win is to marshal our resources together to have national and global strategies for the democracies to win in AI.
Seth Moulton, chair of the US Future of Defence Task Force is urging tech companies to support the Department of Defence.
“Because we're in a race, because we are in this competition, that’s really what it comes down to,” he said. “Are you going to help us win this race or are you going to essentially be against us?
“China does not have the same system of government as we do.
This is a slight substitution of notions. There are two ongoing AI races: China vs. the US-led West, and governing bodies vs. their citizens. It's also about different approaches to AI, with the ultimate aim of the former being a history-defining general-purpose singleton genie, and the latter amounting to infrastructure for perfectly controlled CyberGulag. China is apparently leading in the latter, the US is indisputably closer to the former, but both applications of the available technology are pursued in both camps.
The polite, bored-housewife reading of all this fearmongering is that Chinese surveillance AI somehow encroaches on American liberties and if we don't "do something to counter it", we're all going into neo-Uighur camps. The straightforward reading is that the winner of the genie race gets to forcibly impose his system of government on the loser party. So, should the US win, China shall have US-like democracy, and in the opposite case the US will bow to Beijing's Politburo. This global angle is obfuscated by the talk about "laws" which must prevent the above scenarios from becoming indistinguishable in practice: apparently, an all-powerful Machine God can be compelled to bow to the will of half-sentient voters with a little legal tinkering. Nevermind that merely smarter voters run circles around the rest, "saving" their elections, creating and discarding their cultural fads at will, redefining language.
But the real story of AI race, both of them really, is one of centralization of power. No more "Rules for rulers", whether in the East or the West. The sweet dream of everyone's voice having equal weight withers, and power singularity comes.
There's the issue of objective difference between "systems of government", of course. One system, the crude tyrannical one, is headed by CPC Standing Committee, the other, by... there's not a real theory of it, is there? I don't mean the official "checks and balances" quasi-religious hogwash which does not address the sources of opinions all those different branches base their choices on. It's some Cathedral or whatever, we're told. This has its own demerits, but it has an incredible advantage of plausible deniability with regards to any nefarious agenda it implements. So it'll progress further down the road of plugging every societal input and output into the same machine, tended by a select caste of experts, before people begin worrying. But they will be physiologically unable to understand the nature of the process, and so their quaint attempts at lawyering it away will fail.