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Welfare for AutocratsHow Social Assistance in China Cares for its Rulers$
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Jennifer Pan

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190087425

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190087425.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 January 2022

Becoming a Digital Dictatorship

Becoming a Digital Dictatorship

(p.163) 7 Becoming a Digital Dictatorship
Welfare for Autocrats

Jennifer Pan

Oxford University Press

The conclusion considers how China’s pursuit of political order through preemptive control changes in a digital context of rapidly growing data, computing power, and advances in machine learning (e.g., deep learning, artificial intelligence / “AI”). Digital advances help the Chinese government collect more information about the entire population, and to do so in ways that are less detectable. However, new digital technologies do not alter China’s goal of preemptive control or the predictive surveillance that underpins this goal. Digital technologies will likely enable the government to identify more potential threats, but because digital technologies will not eliminate error altogether and because there is always a tradeoff between precision and recall in machine classification systems, the dramatic expansion of available information may expand the number of people trapped in programs of preemptive control.

Keywords:   China, political order, stability, AI, artificial intelligence, deep learning, machine learning, digital surveillance, predictive analytics, digital technology, big data, predictive policing

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