The plot of the episode “Dive” (eng. Nosedive) of the series “Black mirror” is almost a reality. China is preparing to launch by 2020 a system of statistical indicators, which will separate the citizens of the country in aspects of behavior. The system of 200 million surveillance cameras under the control of artificial intelligence (AI) has already been successfully tested in the provinces throughout China.
The Communist party of China called the program “social credit”. She will assess the behaviour of 1.4 billion citizens in real time via the 800 point scale. The rating of the citizens is increased for purchases of Chinese goods, public works, and fall for fraud, tax evasion or criticism of the government.
For “the best citizens” provided privileges: priority access to public housing and obtaining visas for foreign travel, the promotion, the opportunity to send their children to elite universities, discounting of loans, hotels and rental cars without Deposit, VIP service in airports.
Fraud, tax evasion, Smoking in non-Smoking areas, as well as the purchase of goods that the government does not approve – for example, alcohol or video games will be to lower the rating.
Citizens with a low social score will not be able to get better jobs, send their children to school, will be cut off from high-speed Internet.
Program developers plan to deploy a network of 600 million surveillance cameras with artificial intelligence, placing them in major cities to ensure trouble-free performance. Cameras are virtually everywhere – the streets, parks, shops, elevators, Parking lots, hotels, offices and other public places.
The system is equipped with technology of facial recognition, scanning of bodies and geo-tracking. Information from surveillance cameras in real time, combined with public reports about citizens – their health, education and financial history.
The program resonates with the episode “Dive” (eng. Nosedive) of the series “Black mirror” 2016, in which citizens are gaining social points, based on how others rate their daily interactions.
China launched an experimental version of the system in 2010 in the province, located to the North of Shanghai. A journalist from China told the American edition, that when you try to book a plane ticket, he was denied because of the ban on flights, as it was in the list of undesirable citizens. Earlier, he was issued a court order to apologize for a series of posts on Twitter, but apology not accepted, considering them insincere. As a result, his ranking dropped and he ended up in the spam list. Now he can’t buy property and send their children to a private school.
Given the secrecy of the algorithm of rating calculation, the program can easily become in the hands of the state a tool of manipulation to create a society consistent with the ideology of the ruling Communist party of China.
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