Artificial Intelligence Threatens Democracy: Steve Feldstein

Is modern technology a force for good or evil? In many countries, digital repression, often powered by artificial intelligence, is a direct threat to freedom and the relationship between citizen and state.


China has begun using AI to weaponize social media and mass surveillance in ways that give the Communist government incredible control over what Chinese citizens say and do—and even how they think


The Road to Digital Unfreedom: How Artificial Intelligence Is Reshaping Repression" is the title of a groundbreaking research paper in the Journal of Democracy by Steven Feldstein, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Steve is a Professor at Boise State University and our guest for this episode. 


"What's surprising to me is just how a few governments are using surveillance to get inside almost every kind of action they might be interested in from certain individuals," Steve tells us. 


We discuss the coordinated use in China's Xianjong province of DNA readers, facial recognition images, and wifi "sniffers" that can look into laptops and mobile phones. Steve discusses the role of U.S. tech companies in spreading surveillance technology and why this may be a threat to democracy and human rights around the world.


Link to article: "How Artificial Intelligence Systems Could Threaten Democracy."

Link to article: "Half of the U.S. is Registered in Police Facial Recognition Databases, and They're Completely Unregulated."