China appears to be shying away from an incredibly efficient AI-powered crimefighting system - perhaps because since 2012 it's busted over 8,700 government employees engaging in misconduct ranging from embezzlement, to abuse of power, to nepotism and more.
The system, dubbed "Zero Trust" was developed in partnership between the Chinese Communist Party's internal monitoring institutions and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in order to "monitor, evaluate or intervene in the work and personal life of public servants," according to SCMP's Stephen Chen.
According to state media, there were more than 50 million people on China’s government payroll in 2016, though analysts have put the figure at more than 64 million – slightly less than the population of Britain.
To turn this behemoth into a seamless operation befitting the information age, China has started adapting various types of sophisticated technology. The foreign ministry, for instance, is using machine learning to aid in risk assessment and decision making for China’s major investment projects overseas.
Beijing has been at the forefront of facial recognition technology, such as their "SkyNet" system deployed in over 16 provinces, cities and autonomous regions which can instantly scan faces and compare them to a database of criminal suspects at a speed of 3 billion times per second, according to People's Daily. In Guizhou, the movement of every police officer is tracked in real time.
Meanwhile, China has gone to great lengths to ensure the fidelity of its government data - inking contracts with companies like ZTE to develop blockchain technology in order to prevent bad actors from modifying information.
In order to tie China's monitoring apparatus together, "Zero Trust" can cross-reference over 150 protected databases across Chinese central and local governments - allowing the system to create sophisticated, multi-layered social relationship maps which can then be run through machine-learning systems in order to map out behaviors of government employees.
"It can even call up satellite images, for instance, to investigate whether the government funding to build a road in a village ended up in the pocket of an official," for example.
Beijing has experimented with Zero Trust in 30 counties and cities - just one percent of China's total administrative area - and mostly in backwater counties that are relatively poor.
According to one researcher connected to Zero Trust, the idea for the test was to "avoid triggering large-scale resistance among bureaucrats," particularly powerful ones, to the use of AI and tracking bots to monitor government.
Since 2012, the system has busted 8,721 government employees "engaging in misconduct such as embezzlement, abuse of power, misuse of government funds and nepotism."Most of them were given warnings or minor punishments, while a few were actually sentenced to prison. GO FIGURE!
And for some reason, some governments have decided to deactivate the system, according to the researchers - one of whom added that officials "may not feel quite comfortable with the new technology."https://archive.fo/4vMkQhttps://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-03/are-corrupt-chinese-officials-turning-crime-fighting-ai-because-it-works-too-well