May 18, 2019
Dear Human Readers,
Important notice: Starting May 2019, the Policy Change Index (PCI) Newsletter will be housed at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Please sign up with the Mercatus Center to stay on the list.
Now that it’s taken care of, let’s get back to business.
PCI-China’s 2019 Q1 number is out. As the US and China keep talking trade — round after round — the PCI for China has another update. As the chart below shows, the index spikes again in the first quarter of 2019.
You might wonder whether the uptick means China will fold on the unresolved “structural issues.” Apparently not. As Julian TszKin Chan and Weifeng Zhong explain in their updated research paper, the Q1 spike this year indicates yet another set of state-directed economic policies. Government support for agriculture, the state sector, science and technology, and poverty reduction, for example, are among the most prominent policy shifts.
US negotiators are reportedly watering down their fight against China’s industrial policy. Perhaps it finally dawned on them; how else can China orchestrate a buying spree of American goods without its powerful industrial policy?
COOL HOT TOPICS
AI Conference in New York. Yours truly are hanging out at this O’Reilly conference — as we speak! The event is an exciting venue where cool AI technologies meet challenging real-world problems.
For example, Deepfake, the infamous deep learning technique that can generate synthetic fake videos capable of fooling a naked eye, has received a deep-dive treatment at the conference.
Siwei Lyu, an expert in Deepfake detection at the State University of New York at Albany, demonstrated various techniques to battle the concerning technology. As the speaker admitted, however, technical solutions may not be enough in the cat-and-mouse game with the Deepfakers.
Is legislation an alternative? Lawmakers are considering criminalizing the creation and distribution of malicious Deepfake videos on the internet. But the controversial proposal doesn’t sit well with the public, as it runs the risk of cutting into the First Amendment.
Can lawyers be another gatekeeper? The subject of a Deepfake video could sue for defamation, of course. But the cost of litigation is often too high. After all, how can the plaintiff even prove the fakeness of the video or find out the Deepfake source? It’s “deep” for a reason.
On top of all that, the rapid development of AI technologies is bound to make the issue ever more challenging.
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Edited by Weifeng Zhong and Julian TszKin Chan