One year after bashing cryptocurrencies, and lashing out at Facebook and Google at the 2018 Davos conference, warning the two companies are a “menace” and “monopolistic” and predicting it’s “only a matter of time before the global dominance of the US IT monopolies is broken,” moments ago during his much-anticipated speech at this year’s Davos event, Soros took aim at an even greater adversary, one which even Donald Trump might agree with: China.
Soros started his prepared remarks by cautioned “the world about “an unprecedented danger that’s threatening the very survival of open societies”, before warning about the dangers of artificial intelligence in the hands of “authoritarian regimes such as China” and called President Xi Jinping “the most dangerous” opponent of open societies.
“The instruments of control developed by artificial intelligence give an inherent advantage of totalitarian regimes over open societies,” the former hedge fund manager said on Thursday evening at Davos.
Reminding listeners that last year when he “spent most of my time analyzing the nefarious role of the IT monopolies” Soros said “an alliance is emerging between authoritarian states and the large data rich IT monopolies that bring together nascent systems of corporate surveillance with an already developing system of state sponsored surveillance. This may well result in a web of totalitarian control the likes of which not even George Orwell could have imagined.”
While Soros’ ideological critics may have a chuckle at the irony that the billionaire supporter of Hillary Clinton is the one warning about Orwellian control, we would not be surprised if even president Trump found himself agreeing when Soros said today that he wants “to call attention to the mortal danger facing open societies from the instruments of control that machine learning and artificial intelligence can put in the hands of repressive regimes. I’ll focus on China, where Xi Jinping wants a one-party state to reign supreme.”
The focus of Soros’ criticism had to do with China’s social credit system, which we have discussed extensively in the past. As a reminder, in November, the “Beijing Further Optimization of the Business Environment Action Plan (2018-2020)” was distributed to all district committees, district governments, municipal party committees, local government ministries and commissions bureaus, various head offices,