How TikTok Reads Your Mind

from NYTs There are four main goals for TikTok’s algorithm: ????, ???? (??), ????, and ????, which the company translates as “user value,” “long-term user value,” “creator value,” and “platform value.” That set of goals is drawn from a frank and revealing document for company employees that offers new details of how the most successful video app in the world has built such an entertaining — some would say addictive — product. The document, headed “TikTok Algo 101,” was produced by TikTok’s engineering team in Beijing. A company spokeswoman, Hilary McQuaide, confirmed its authenticity, and said it was written to […]

Continue reading

With China, a ‘Cold War’ Analogy Is Lazy and Dangerous

from NYTs A new idea is gaining currency among some politicians and policymakers in Washington: The United States is in a cold war with China. It’s a bad idea — bad on history, bad on politics, bad for our future. The Biden administration has wisely pushed back on the framing. But the president’s actions suggest that his strategy for dealing with China may indeed suffer from Cold War thinking, which locks our minds into the traditional two-dimensional chess model. Competition with China, though, is a three-dimensional game. And if we continue to play two-dimensional chess, we will lose. While neither […]

Continue reading

Why There Is No Solution To Our Age Of Crisis Without China

from The New Statesman In the summer of 2021 the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is marking its centenary. It has much to celebrate. The most powerful communist party and by far the most powerful political organisation in the world, it has presided over the largest surge of economic growth ever witnessed. For both the West and China’s immediate neighbours, this unsettling and unexpected fact defines the early 21st century. China’s rise has undone any assumption that social and economic progress naturally leads to liberalism. Hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty in 40 years by an authoritarian […]

Continue reading

The White House Responded to the Chinese Hacks of the Microsoft Exchange Servers This Week. Is It Enough?

from Lawfare The Biden administration formally accused the Chinese government this week of carrying out the hacks of the Microsoft Exchange email server software, the details of which came to light in early March. In a joint statement with the European Union, NATO and several other U.S. allies, the White House placed blame for the hacks squarely on the shoulders of the contractors of China’s civilian intelligence agency, the Ministry of State Security (MSS), and accused the Chinese government of supporting “irresponsible and destabilizing behavior in cyberspace.” In conjunction with the White House’s statement, the Justice Department on July 19 […]

Continue reading

What Happens When China Leads the World

from The Atlantic What kind of superpower will China be? That’s the question of the 21st century. According to American leaders such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, China will bea rapacious authoritarian nightmare, intent on destroying democracy itself. Beijing, needless to say, doesn’t quite agree. Fortunately for those of us seeking answers to this question, China was a major power for long stretches of history, and the foreign policies and practices of its great dynasties can offer us insights into how modern Chinese leaders may wield their widening power now and in the future. Of course, Chinese society today […]

Continue reading

Keep an Eye on Taiwan

from The Atlantic Taiwan is one of those flash points that has never flashed. The dispute over the island’s fate has had the potential to erupt into conflict between China and the United States for decades. But the feared Chinese invasion has never come. The situation has remained deadlocked for so long that Taiwan’s quandary often drifts into the background of Asian affairs, overshadowed by seemingly more-pressing concerns, such as North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and inflamed tensions between India and Pakistan in Kashmir. Not now. With an erratic President Donald Trump distracted by the coronavirus pandemic, as well as his […]

Continue reading

Forget TikTok. China’s Powerhouse App Is WeChat, and Its Power Is Sweeping.

from NYTs Just after the 2016 presidential election in the United States, Joanne Li realized the app that connected her to fellow Chinese immigrants had disconnected her from reality. Everything she saw on the Chinese app, WeChat, indicated Donald J. Trump was an admired leader and impressive businessman. She believed it was the unquestioned consensus on the newly elected American president. “But then I started talking to some foreigners about him, non-Chinese,” she said. “I was totally confused.” She began to read more widely, and Ms. Li, who lived in Toronto at the time, increasingly found WeChat filled with gossip, […]

Continue reading

What’s This? A Bipartisan Plan For AI And National Security

from ars technica US Reps. Will Hurd and Robin Kelly are from opposite sides of the ever-widening aisle, but they share a concern that the United States may lose its grip on artificial intelligence, threatening the American economy and the balance of world power. On Thursday, Hurd (R-Tex.) and Kelly (D-Ill.) offered suggestions to prevent the US from falling behind China, especially, on applications of AI to defense and national security. They want to cut off China’s access to AI-specific silicon chips and push Congress and federal agencies to devote more resources to advancing and safely deploying AI technology. Although […]

Continue reading

Facial Recognition for People Wearing Masks

from Schneier on Security The Chinese facial recognition company Hanwang claims it can recognize people wearing masks: The company now says its masked facial recognition program has reached 95 percent accuracy in lab tests, and even claims that it is more accurate in real life, where its cameras take multiple photos of a person if the first attempt to identify them fails. […] Counter-intuitively, training facial recognition algorithms to recognize masked faces involves throwing data away. A team at the University of Bradford published a study last year showing they could train a facial recognition program to accurately recognize half-faces […]

Continue reading

Coronavirus Forces Universities Online

from Inside Higher Ed After celebrating the Lunar New Year earlier this month, thousands of students at U.S. universities in China have resumed classes. But the campuses are eerily quiet, and classrooms remain empty. That’s because classes have moved online in the wake of the coronavirus. The transition from face-to-face to fully online wasn’t one leaders at institutions such as Duke Kunshan University and New York University Shanghai had planned for. Preparing to teach a course online for the first time usually takes several months. Faculty at institutions in China have done it in less than three weeks — a […]

Continue reading