(TibetanReview.net, Jan26’19) – Billionaire philanthropist George Soros, a champion of open society, delivered a stinging attack on China with a warning that President Xi Jinping’s regime was using breakthroughs in machine learning and artificial intelligence to repress its people, reported theguardian.com Jan 24.
Speaking at his annual dinner at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, he has called Xi the most dangerous opponent of open societies. He has called on the West to crack down on Chinese tech companies that were being used as a means of authoritarian control.
“I want to call attention to the mortal danger facing open societies from the instruments of control that machine learning and artificial intelligence can put in the hands of repressive regimes. I’ll focus on China, where Xi Jinping wants a one-party state to reign supreme,” Soros said.
He has said that in China all “the rapidly expanding information available about a person is going to be consolidated in a centralised database to create a ‘social credit system’.
“Based on that data, people will be evaluated by algorithms that will determine whether they pose a threat to the one-party state. People will then be treated accordingly.”
While China was not the only authoritarian regime in the world, it was the wealthiest, strongest and most developed in machine learning and AI.
He has referred to an undeclared struggle between the West and China over the governance of the internet. He has noted that China wanted to dictate rules and procedures that govern the digital economy by dominating the developing world with its new platforms and technologies.
He has also criticized US president Donald Trump for his handling of China. There was a risk, he has said, of a cold war between the world’s two biggest economies turning into a hot one. He has said Trump was taking the wrong approach to China: making concessions to Beijing and declaring victory while renewing his attacks on US allies.
“My present view is that instead of waging a trade war with practically the whole world, the US should focus on China. Instead of letting [the Chinese tech companies] ZTE and Huawei off lightly, it needs to crack down on them,” he has said.
And he has warned, “If these companies came to dominate the 5G market, they would present an unacceptable security risk for the rest of the world.”