Freedom in the Age of Big Tech

NBC News did an excellent program on the Chinese social credit system, which essentially creates a police state using artificial intelligence, complete with “tattlers” who spy on their neighbors and report suspicious conduct to the authorities. I am posting this program without comment, other than to say that the equivalent in the US is the intelligence-community-monitored Big Tech information gathering companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Apple, etc. The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) hasn’t yet perfected the social credit system, which (the program says) will take another 5–15 years. If you have ever seen the program “Person of Interest” you will recognize the sesame credit system as similar to the one in that program.

In a nation of 1.4 billion people, it’s important to have social stability. But at what cost? Here we have an example of East-West cultural differences. Western societies are younger and place more emphasis on individual freedoms. Eastern cultures are more concerned with social harmony. The point is, how do you achieve social harmony?

In both Western Big Tech and the Chinese Sesame Credit system, algorithms and AI are used to regulate human conduct. (See “Algorithms have gotten out of control. It's time to regulate them,” The Week, Navneet Alang, 3 April 2019, https://theweek.com/articles/832948/algorithms-have-gotten-control-time-regulate)

China is the leader of the East, the US is the leader in the West. You can see the similar development of human regulation in both areas. East-West is again part of the light-dark duality, which humanity is resolving now.

It’s something to think about in this monumental battle for the heart and soul of humanity. On the one hand, coming together is a divine impulse and it represents cooperation and harmony. On the other hand, a forced state-sponsored police state is not the answer. OUR choices will make the difference whether freedom or tyranny is the theme for future generations of the human race. The time to decide is now.

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