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Soros Cites Nazis To Warn World About Peril Of Artificial Intelligence In China

Billionaire financier George Soros blasted China for its progress on artificial intelligence, hoping to “warn the world” of the threat it imposes, BuzzFeed News reported.

Soros directed his speech at world leaders on Thursday at his annual dinner during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which criticized China’s development of an automated “social credit system.” The liberal megadonor said furthering the system, in which the country is already trying to provide services to those who meet social standards, is dangerous.

“It will subordinate the fate of the individual to the interests of the one-party state in ways unprecedented in history,” Soros said in the live-broadcasted speech.

Soros stressed the issues that could be caused by an authoritarian regime building tools like artificial intelligence and machine learning. With them, open societies — in which Soros says a state works under laws and protects human rights and freedoms — is endangered. The aim of his speech was to give ideas on how to deal with this, to avoid exploitation and suppression.

He used his experience during the Holocaust to back up his point.

“My deep concern for this issue arises out of my personal history. I was born in Hungary in 1930 and I’m Jewish,” he said. “I was 13 years old when the Nazis occupied Hungary and started deporting Jews to extermination camps.”

He explained that his father understood the horrible nature of the Nazi regime early on and helped the family survive.

“I learned at an early age how important it is what kind of political regime prevails,” Soros said. “When the Nazi regime was replaced by Soviet occupation I left Hungary as soon as I could and found refuge in England.”

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

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