China is using AI to calculate citizen a social credit score. Its quite easy to tell china has taken the Sesame score straight from the Black Mirror series. The biggest perk of technology sounds horrifying and exciting at the same time. The rest of the world is observing this giant social experiment.

Black Mirror social score (s03e01) vs Sesame credit score


As a citizen of China, you log in the most popular messaging WeChat with your ID. Are you chatting with an old friend who has a low score? If so, yours will goes down as well. Having a low score may cause you are unable to buy a first class ticket, and a high score means you can skip the security line at the airport or rent a car without deposit. Sesame score is calculated based on your chat, payments, search and other online activities. Private companies and government process huge amounts of data to calculate your three-digit social status.

Government adapts AI

More than 20 countries are now adopting national AI strategic plan. They understand and wants to adopt the possibilities of the latest technology. The unwillingness of IT companies work with government slows everything down. Will the rest of the world also follow Chinese Alibaba to the Sesame? It is very likely in terms of adaption of technologies, but the scoring system may look different.

Values like personal privacy and human connection can be built and enhanced by the system.

The government should take an active part in providing the platform and infrastructure reflecting these values for the fast-growing consumer sector. Values like personal privacy and human connection can be designed into the system. How would your personal privacy would look like then?

Keys to the private data in the hands of individuals

You have a control over your data. Your browsing history, your online activity is anonymous by default, unless you grant access to the service. And you are manage its access only for specific data.

The decision what your data you provide to others will be in your hands same like the keys of your house. Applying to the visa? Provide website access to your ID, where the secured API provides only necessary data. Buying from an e-shop? Allow access just to your address, nothing more.

All your private and public data in the single digital identity, nobody can access without a permission.

I have spent last months building AI product in Fintech, where the biggest issue is the trust and the risk of the individual. Government is facing the same problems. Social media account, browsing history, and cookies - the bits are already out there and easily assigned to you as a person. The million dollar question is how to put all these bits together. China seems to have the answer for that.

There is no doubt the AI will affect our lives, the question is how. Will it promote human connection or separation? Personal privacy or system watching every your step? As you could see there are multiple ways of achieving the same goal. Hopefully, we will build a world where we also want to wake up tomorrow.