We should be more like China, our technocrats insist. And these days we are. That digital road is taking us to a cybernightmare.
China has developed an artificial intelligence prosecutor that can charge people with crimes with more than 97 per cent accuracy, researchers claim.
The dystopian machine can identify ‘dissent’ against the state and suggest sentences for supposed criminals, removing people from the prosecution process.
The tool can file a charge based on a verbal description of the case and was built and tested by the Shanghai Pudong People’s Procuratorate, the biggest and busiest district prosecution office in China.
The AI would allow human prosecutors to ease their workload and allow them to only focus on the more complex cases, the project’s lead scientist Professor Shi Yong said.
It was ‘trained’ using 17,000 real life cases from 2015 to 2020 and is able to identify and press charges for the eight most common crimes in Shanghai.
These include ‘provoking trouble’ – a term used to stifle dissent in China, credit card fraud, gambling crimes, dangerous driving, theft, fraud, intentional injury and obstructing official duties.
The party loyalty of mere mortals can’t be trusted. But an AI prosecutor will be inflexibly loyal to party doctrine as it was defined last week. That’s where Orwell missed a trick. The future isn’t just reprogramming humans, it’s administering a digital state.
Communist China has been slowly building up its robot courts. The AI prosecutor is just the latest addition to its technocratic nightmare state.
China says millions of legal cases are now being decided by “internet courts” that do not require citizens to appear in court.
The “smart court” includes non-human judges powered by artificial intelligence, or AI.
People seeking legal action can register their case on the internet. They can then take part in a digital court hearing.
The system gives users the chance to communicate and receive court decisions by text or through major messaging services.
And then there are the various AI assistants which, aside from all stuff being touted in press releases and propaganda, help keep the judges focused on what the Communist Party wants them to focus on.
China’s Supreme People’s Court has employed Faxin, a legal-services robot, which assists judges in sifting through reports and identifying laws relevant to cases.
While there’s definitely a rise in AI in the American legal space, it’s being used by law firms for research whereas the Chinese model increasingly automates the legal system from the top down.
China has no labor shortage and there’s plenty of room for more employment in the legal system. It’s aggressively turning to automating the legal system not because it’s cheaper or it can’t find help, but because it wants to limit the role of human decisionmaking in the process.
The question is what happens when this technocratic doctrine makes its way to Europe and then to America?