Soros: Artificial intelligence may revive totalitarianism

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — According to the financier, the threat comes primarily from Beijing, which is not only actively introducing AI into the life of Chinese society, but can also “export” this weapon to “potential dictators.”

MarketWatch has published an article by George Soros, written for Project Syndicate and dedicated to the problems of totalitarianism. A financier of Hungarian descent, in the light of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, stated that this event “dealt a crushing blow to the closed society of the Soviet Union.”

“This event marks the highest point in the development of an open society,” the financier writes. Moreover, he said, he created almost real resistance to the USSR in Hungary. “In the 1980s, I supported dissidents throughout the Soviet Empire, and in 1984 I managed to create a fund in my native Hungary. He provided financial support for any activity that was not initiated by a one-party state,” recalls Soros, calling this work “political philanthropy.”

The idea of ​​creating a fund with a budget of $ 3 million (which exceeded the budget of the Hungarian Ministry of Culture, Soros notes) was that, with his support, people / organizations acting contrary to the party concept opened up the falsity of the official course of the country.

Soros notes that after the collapse of the USSR, he began to create similar funds in other countries, the total budget grew from a modest $ 3 million to $ 300 million, and this was the heyday of international cooperation and “open societies.” However, now, thirty years later, according to Soros, the situation has changed.

“International cooperation has encountered serious obstacles, and nationalism has become the dominant ideology. So far, nationalism has turned out to be much more powerful and destructive than internationalism,” Soros writes, noting that the United States remained the only “superpower” after the collapse of the USSR, but the mission assigned to them they could not fulfill.

According to Soros, the United States was too keen on relishing its victory in the Cold War and could not lend a helping hand to the countries of the former Soviet bloc that were in a difficult situation, thereby adhering to the Washington consensus.

“It was then that China embarked on its amazing path of economic growth, facilitated by its entry (with US support) into the World Trade Organization and international financial institutions. Ultimately, China replaced the Soviet Union as a potential competitor to the United States,” Soros writes.

The Washington consensus was based on the assumption that financial markets can cope with their problems. And if they fail to cope, central banks will take care of weakened financial institutions. However, this position, as the 2008 crisis showed, turned out to be erroneous, the financier notes.

“The 2008 crisis put an end to the undeniable global dominance of the United States and significantly accelerated the growth of nationalism,” Soros writes, noting that a reversal took place against “open societies.”

“The support they received from the USA was always indirect and sometimes insufficient, but its absence made them vulnerable to the threat of nationalism. It took me a while to realize this, but the evidence was incontrovertible. Open societies were forced to start defending themselves around the world,” said Soros.

“I would like to think that the lowest point was reached in 2016 with the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom and the election of US President Donald Trump, but the question still remains open,” he adds.

Beijing’s secret weapon

“The prospects for open societies are exacerbated by the extremely rapid development of artificial intelligence. It can create social control tools that can help repressive regimes pose a mortal danger to open society.”

For example, Chinese President Xi Jinping has begun to create the so-called social credit system. If he succeeds to complete it, the state will gain full control over its citizens.

It is troubling that the Chinese public considers the social credit system attractive because it provides them with services they previously lacked, promises to prosecute criminals and offers citizens guidance on how to avoid trouble. Even more worrisome, China could sell its social credit system to potential dictators around the world who would then become politically dependent on China,” Soros argues.

At the same time, the financier sees rescue in the United States. He notes that microprocessors provide such giants like Huawei and ZTE. Only Donald Trump clearly puts personal interests above the public and uses the technology trump card in negotiations with X as simple “bargaining chips,” Soros laments.

“The result is unpredictable, because it depends on a number of decisions that have not yet been made. We live in revolutionary times, when the range of possibilities is much wider than usual, and the result is even more uncertain than in ordinary times. All that we can do relying on – these are our beliefs,” summarizes the financier and philanthropist.

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