Business / Tech

George Soros warns of China's use of AI to control citizens, calling Xi Jinping 'most dangerous' foe of open societies

Bloomberg

Billionaire George Soros warned of the dangers of artificial intelligence in the hands of authoritarian regimes such as China and called the country’s 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 Thursday at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Soros said China is developing a centralized database that will use algorithms to determine whether a person poses a threat to the one-party system.

Soros, 88, has become a lightning rod for his political views and philanthropic efforts. A longtime supporter and financial backer of progressive causes and Democratic politicians, he’s become a target of right-wing activists. In October, an apparent explosive device was discovered at his suburban New York home.

At last year’s Davos conference, Soros maligned cryptocurrencies and lashed out at social media giants Facebook Inc. and Google, comparing them to gambling companies that foster addiction among users. He said such firms exploit the data they control and called them a “menace” to society that need more oversight.

In 2011, Soros returned outside investors’ money and converted his firm into a family office — investing solely on behalf of himself, his family members and the Open Society Foundations, a worldwide network of philanthropies that promotes the rule of law and economic advancement.