“The usual narrative goes like this: Without the constraints on data collection that liberal democracies impose and with the capacity to centrally direct greater resource allocation, the Chinese will outstrip the West.
China’s greatest advantage in AI is less surveillance than a vast shadow workforce actively labeling data fed into algorithms.
Under the leadership of Audrey Tang and her Sunflower and g0v movements, almost half of Taiwan’s population has joined a national participatory data-governance and -sharing platform that allows citizens to self-organize the use of data, demand services in exchange for these data,
Most impressively, tools growing out of this approach have been critical to Taiwan’s best-in-the-world success at containing the Covid-19 pandemic, with only 49 cases to date in a population of more than 20 million at China’s doorstep.
To paraphrase Edmund Burke, all that is necessary for the triumph of an AI-driven, automation-based dystopia is that liberal democracy accept it as inevitable.”