At the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai, the authorities praise the advances in this sector. It is still a long way from being self-sufficient, but there is talk of steps “for the benefit of humanity.” However, the technology is also used to persecute dissidents and critics. WeChat messages were used to condemn two Christian leaders. Four others, including a pastor, were arrested for “illegal activities.”
Beijing () – Beijing glorifies advances in artificial intelligence and new technologies, but ends up using them to tighten controls on the activities of Chinese citizens, repressing their freedoms and rights. In a lengthy article, the Global Timesa newspaper linked to the “People’s Daily”, an organ of the Chinese Communist Party, praised the “development” of AI made in china, which is “gaining” momentum despite “fierce” global competition and obstacles posed by the United States. The occasion to deepen the subject is linked to the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC), which began yesterday in the economic and commercial metropolis of Shanghai.
Experts and stakeholders pointed out that China still has to make progress to achieve “self-sufficiency” in the energy sector. high tech, but there is great confidence in the country’s “ability” to “achieve the goal,” the party organ wrote. Proof of China’s growth potential and attractiveness was the crowds that gathered yesterday to interact “with language models, who are the main attraction of this year’s event.” In this regard, NetEase Youdao introduced an interactive chatbot for learning English, which allows you to practice languages based on the AI model. At the event, local technology company Meituan launched version 4.0 of its drone system with a longer delivery range and better performance in bad weather conditions.
According to the 2022 report published in the WAIC, Beijing ranks second in the Global AI Innovation Index for the third consecutive year, thanks to the “acceleration” of the talent base, the impetus to build data infrastructures and the new technological advances. Then the Global Times responded to criticism of the fair’s loss of “appeal”, especially in the United States, by speaking of a “record participation” of international companies. Finally, he called for intensifying “sharing” and “scientific and technological exchange” with the aim of “contributing to global development” for the “benefit of humanity.”
However, in the face of external promises to work for development and welfare, China continues to exploit new technologies and AI for the purposes of internal repression, as has happened in the past with the creation of “online registries” of priests, pastors and imams “against swindlers.” Proof of this is the trial held on June 28 against two Christian leaders accused of fraud. One of the two defendants, Mu En, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison, while the second, Enoch Wang, received three years in prison, with a fine of US$8,000 and US$7,000 each. To uncover the charges against them, law enforcement used technology to retrieve messages posted on WeChat, discovering the names and amounts of donors over the past five years. The fraud, according to the accusation, is around $240,000. In fact, according to activists ChinaAidthe trial and conviction are a “deliberate attempt” by the Chinese communist authorities to stage commercial crimes to “cover up” religious persecution, because “the two convicted Christians are completely innocent.”
The pretext of “illegal business” was also used by Chinese authorities to attack the Shengjia Church educational center, the scene of a raid on May 24 that led to the arrest of at least four people. Among them are Pastor Deng Yanxiang and three aides, who are now being held at the Nanhai District Detention Center in Foshan City. During the raid, the security forces completely searched the center and confiscated all educational material.