In our history, we have often lost power to a dictator, but there is always a way for people to regain sovereignty. If we lose in future our independence to an Artificial Intelligence enabled entity, the way back might be closed. That is why our position is: Losing control to AI is a One-Way street.
If one browses through the pages of history, there have been sporadic instances of ruling dynasties giving up their control, voluntarily, to make way for democracy. There are several instances of monarchs in the 18th and 19th century who were influenced by new ideas of a democratic society. They allowed and encouraged democracies to develop in their countries.
However, historically, the instances of tyrannical, power-grabbing monarchs are much more common. Substantial parts of Africa, America and Asia, were colonised by Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, The Netherlands and Japan. The vast majority of those colonies had to fight for independence. There have been only a few rare cases where freedom was given voluntarily by their colonial power, mostly after the Second World War, when countries became aware of their transgressions.
Thus, what we learn from history is that the vast majority of examples in the fight for democracy have been violent uprisings from an unhappy population or war. The most outstanding example is, of course, the French Revolution of 1788. The ideas of Montesquieu and other philosophers influenced the thoughts of the elite of France, and those ideas trickled down to the majority of France. The king made several strategic mistakes and ended up being beheaded.
History has shown us that even the most brutal regimes can exist for hundreds of years. However, history and the human spirit have overcome all odds in the long run.
Fall of Free Thought and Speech
Freedom of thought and public discussions are the most significant barriers to the growth of despots. It is the primary reason why they curtail freedom of the press in authoritarian countries. Advanced dictatorships go so far as to not only suppress free news but also develop an alternative truth that they force upon their people. The most successful instance of this has been the Soviet Union that managed to maintain an iron grip on its population from 1918 to 1988. A sphere of control that they extended to Eastern Europe and several other communist countries around the world.
The Communist hegemony ended its spiralling increase with the fortunate and historical intervention of the free thinker, Mikhail Gorbachev, who grabbed the Communist leadership after his predecessor died. He made the landmark decision to give partial freedom to the citizens of Soviet with the “Glasnost” or Open policy. Once the genie of liberty was set free from its bottle, a wave of uprisings and suppressed resentments emerged. Most communist countries gained democracy. (On the flip side, the democratic rise went into reverse a few decades later in Russia and several other former Communist countries.)
In China, however, communist rule was maintained steadily. The leader of the Chinese Party, Deng Xiao Ping, allowed unprecedented economic freedom with the Open Door Policy in 1978. It even allowed limited freedom of the press for industrial and non-political issues. China could now develop the largest economy of the world with the leverage of cutting edge technology.
Artificial Intelligence Threat to Humanity
The casual observer might think that the Chinese rule did not significantly change since it came to power in 1949. But that is misleading. The way China controls its people has been changing fundamentally under the presidency of Xi, president since 2013. He has bundled the Chinese Social Media apps with the traditional espionage agencies that control its people. He has developed a new source of information with an expanding Chinese Internet of Things with camera systems that scan every street corner in most areas, empowered with facial recognition that can register both identity and intent of the citizens filmed. The government’s monitoring of the citizens is sweeping and facilitated by the AI threat to privacy.
All existing databases from schools, employers, e-Commerce, blog-sites etc. are added to the above information sources, which are then assimilated into one central system to rate each citizen. A Chinese citizen can track his social score on an app. A higher social score allows more freedom and career opportunities, whereas a lower score limits freedom of travel and more. China detains millions of citizens with the sub-par scores in involuntary camps with the euphemistic name ’Vocational Training Centers‘. These camps are not only for Chinese minorities but for ’pure race‘ Chinese too.
Until now, an oppressed population often could develop an underground organisation that could challenge its leadership. This is being stifled and stamped out now with oppressive surveillance and control mechanisms.
The Dark AI Invader
The almost complete censoring of its citizens by the Chinese Party is surveyed, aggregated and analysed with Artificial Intelligence. An AI enabled powerful software can predict if a particular person might develop independent or revolutionary ideas, based on his choices and history, even before he realises this himself. The Communist Party can then take steps to prevent any hint of uprising or revolutionary thinking, by changing the career path or location of potentially rogue citizens. The Party may even manipulate social media in such a way that independent thinkers or unhappy subjects do not accidentally run into each other in chatrooms. Domination is foolproof and complete.
Relentless AI-led Surveillance
AI allows the state to analyse revealing data on every citizen, every day of the year, for potential risk. AI can run millions of scenarios where independent thoughts may develop and prevent those situations from happening.
China has started to export its effective control techniques to a select number of dictators around the world. For the first time in history, a country has developed a level of control that seems impossible to infiltrate by any effort by its citizens. There is no country in the world strong enough to launch a successful attack on China. The Chinese Communist Party seems truly invincible, partly thanks to the invincible AI beast.
Nemesis: China or AI or Both?
In our other blogs, we argue that there is a possibility that not only people like the Communist Chinese Party but also AI itself can be hostile enough to gain control over an entire country. The avenues to control and monitor the population of a subject country will be similar to the way China controls its citizens today. In China, there is still a theoretical chance that a new leader like Mikael Gorbachev will emerge that allows overthrowing the system from inside. But an AI system will not ever fail or fade. If an AI system has the intent to seize a country, it will persist in creating and empowering control systems with significant effect and leaving the citizens robbed of free will and action for eternity.
In such an eventuality, the AI machine will decide the fate, life and death of the people. If the computer concludes that humans have no utilitarian function any more, it could decide to end the human race through violent means or just by preventing them from reproducing.
In conclusion, we leave you with a warning. Losing control to AI is an irreversible, domino effect that may ensure we meet the same fate as dinosaurs. As an extinct species that once roamed the earth.