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AI surveillance is your fast approaching nightmare future

Updated: Jan 16, 2020

As we march down our city streets with cleverly written placards, cursing our leaders for letting us down on addressing climate change, this all consuming focus on environmental problems is allowing other important issues to slip by us.

Late in the 80's and early 90's, it seemed the end of the world was nigh due to a rapidly depleting ozone layer. We stopped using CFC's and hooray for humanity suddenly everything was okay.

In the late 90's there was a massive panic for Y2K, the public, government and private businesses spent thousands to ensure their computers were compliant and wouldn't cause chaos at the strike of midnight 2000. I never heard one issue of something happening due to Y2k, even when surely not everyone updated, surely?

Remember this bad boy?

Every decade we are handed something new to fear, a new end of the world scenario to keep us up at night. I can't help feel I'm watching a magic show and climate change is the new beautiful assistant distracting me from the sleight of hand by a malevolent magician. Is it government, or some cabal of illuminati type figures who aim to distract us for their own ultimate gain, likely it's just paranoia. But I feel sometimes that sense that we are being manipulated by it or simply that parties such as governments use it to their advantage to exploit and distract us.

Presently the reality is a surveillance apparatus is slowly growing like a weed through our public lives. As we use all our energy protesting things such as the use of fossil fuels, Australian journalists are being raided by Australian Federal Police, new and ever more draconian security laws are implemented that erode our privacy rights under the guise of public safety, police now being issued with automatic weapons, the list goes on.

Within the next 20 years a comprehensive surveillance system seems very likely to be in place that watches everything we do. This is already a reality in China, a communist state who have adopted a new "Social Credit System".

To explain the what, why and how of China's newly adopted system basically breaks down like this; China with its recent emergence on to the world stage has gone from simply being a third world country to a massive juggernaut with a strong growing middle class. Charlie Campbell in Time magazine explains,

"In China, cash has long been king. As recently as 2011, only 1 in 3 Chinese people had a bank account. The nation’s rapid rise from collectivized penury to the world’s No. 2 economy meant it never had the chance to develop Western-style credit histories. That meant people could default on loans, or sell shoddy or counterfeit goods, with few repercussions. Society was dogged by a question: Whom can you trust... The official guidance called for a nationwide system that would “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven, while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step,” to be in place by 2020."

China has implemented this plan to put a rating system on its citizens so that if you default on a loan or commit fraud you get a bad social credit score, good luck with your life in China once you've done that. To fail in this way will see you penalised and disadvantaged in many ways. Some of these ways are very dystopian as Campbell further explains in his article,

"In certain areas of China, call a blacklisted person on the phone and you will hear a siren and recorded message saying: “Warning, this person is on the blacklist. Be careful and urge them to repay their debts.” When a blacklisted person crosses certain intersections in Beijing, facial-recognition technology projects their face and ID number on massive electronic billboards."

With the development of various new technology the days of anonymity are numbered, particularly for Chinese citizens. Zhou Jiaquan in the South China post claims,

"China is taking video surveillance to terrifying new heights, it's developing a facial recognition system that can match faces to a database of 1.3 billion ID photos in seconds, with a target of achieving 90 per cent accuracy."

They also have surveillance cameras watching citizens disguised as common birds, Jiaquan adds,

"Over 30 military and government agencies have used birdlike drones and similar machines to spy on people in at least five provinces in China. These robot birds have been designed to replicate 90 per cent of the movements of real birds; they can mimic the flapping action of a bird’s wings as they manoeuvre through the sky."

All of these technologies working together will advance to a point in the future that the communist state can only dream of, that of complete surveillance and control of its citizens.

This is only the beginning and it's just a matter of time before we're all on that system. I'm sure it'll be innocuous enough at the start, simply to help "keep our borders safe" or some line to that effect. It will end in complete government control over us.

Looking after our planet is imperative. I just wish people got as angry and

protested government moves to remove our freedoms with the same level of passion. Because the end result will be a future with dystopian level surveillance which will mean when you go out to protest a cause, the government cameras will identify you, and you may pay a heavy price for it.

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