China’s Sky Net nudges citizen behaviour.

The massive integrated Sky Net AI surveillance recognition system which boasts over 20 million CCTV cameras across China, is helping to modify citizen behaviour through a mixture of penalties and rewards.

The use of big data is at the heart of China’s Social Credit System and Sky Net feeds in to this. China should have full roll-out of its SCS state surveillance infrastructure by 2020, monitoring 1.4 billion citizens.

The future aspirations of SCS are to predict citizen behaviour rather than just modify it at present on a carrot and stick basis. Your credit score improves in line with your educational achievements, professional behaviour, political allegiance, social media groups, moral behaviour etc. It even has the power to deduct credit points if you do something as criminally insane as jaywalk.

What do these SCS points add up to? The ability to take a faster train, to travel on aircraft etc. Basically it improves your personal freedom and choices. Or so you think, as of course your are being monitored all the time.

No wonder why many of the recent HK protests saw people wearing face masks. However, in addition to facial recognition, the data mining delves in to your loans and finances, ATM withdrawals, employment records, medical records, tax records, travel information and social media. I guess in many instances it would know your whereabouts even if there was no facial recognition data available.

With all this data from 1.4 billion people, only AI will have the ability to predict citizen behaviour from the SCS model and thus the model could be refined to improve behaviour. For instance, how many credit points deducted does it take to change a miscreant jaywalker’s habits? Or more worryingly, what is the most effective punishment to control dissent?

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