China may have created software that measures party loyalty

China may have created software that measures party loyalty

In China, researchers from the Comprehensive National Science Center announced that they have created an artificial intelligence capable of measuring the loyalty of members of the Chinese Communist Party. The first media to report the news was the Sunday Times. Both the original video and article from the research institute were subsequently deleted. The software, as explained in the video, would be able to analyze brain impulses and facial expressions to draw conclusions on how effective "thought education" has been on different subjects. The goal would be to "consolidate their determination to be grateful to the party, to listen to the party and to follow the party".

In the video, reports the VOA magazine, a person could be seen scrolling through some online material: the institute claimed that the software was monitoring his reactions to verify how receptive he was to the "educational" content promoted by the authorities. The announcement sparked several protests among Chinese citizens, VOA always reports.

According to experts, it is difficult to prove the veracity of what the institute stated without fully knowing the details of the research project. "There are still no reliable methods to suggest that a brain wave scan or facial recognition can accurately indicate someone's loyalty," writes Lance B. Eliot, artificial intelligence and machine learning expert at Forbes. “Even presumably basic aspects, such as being able to reliably relate these scans to whether a person is happy or sad, are still hotly debated. Expanding the discourse to something as amorphous and variable as loyalty is too long a step. "

However, the idea of ​​software dedicated to testing loyalty to a dictatorial regime obviously raises concern. Especially given the Beijing regime 's extensive use of digital technologies to tighten control over its citizens. Facial recognition surveillance techniques have been used by the People's Republic authorities in Xingjang province to monitor ethnic Uyghurs. In addition, last year the province of Henan, in the north-east of the country, implemented a complex surveillance system to be used against journalists and activists, foreign citizens and other persons deemed "suspicious". In China, the system known as "one person, one file" is in use, which allows for the collection and organization of all information on a single individual, as well as the practices of mass surveillance against ethnic minorities and dissidents.

"When this type of artificial intelligence is harnessed for government control," adds Eliot, "a line has already been crossed".