The British Netflix series “Black Mirror” owes its name to the fact that it often presents a grim reflection of our world. Almost always the subject of technology and its (mostly negative) impact on humanity play a role. But sometimes fiction and reality are terribly close to each other.
My entry into the series was Season 3 Episode 1 – “Nosedive”. With this series and my studies in the Far East I came to my thesis topic. In this episode, we experience a society in which everyone is part of a social network based on a point system. After each direct or indirect interaction, people rate themselves on a smartphone on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Of course, the stars are not just given away for fun. The points account opens or blocks a person from certain possibilities. Shunting anywhere near 5 stars makes it easier to get credit or use a separate and extra-fast switch in the queue at the airport. Since the points account is publicly available, one is invited with appropriate high score from peers to parties and considered for mating – after all, it should remain nicely homogeneous. With a bad score, the effect is the other way around: no credits, long lines, no parties and inferior partners.
In China, there is a comparative scoring system. There is a very similar social point system is already a reality. Initially active only in parts of the country, the system is to be extended to the entire People’s Republic by 2020. In China, the points are awarded by Artificial Intelligence (AI).
“I have to catch the train” – without thinking about it, you run across the street at a red light, which we suppose every one of us has already done. In China you get from 2020 for it nationwide 5 points deducted from his account. Serial offenders are pilloried on public screens, the photo for the AI-controlled camera has already made.Since everyone starts with 1000 points, 5 penalty points equal 0.5% of the total balance. It is not far to social decline. The rating system ranges from AAA to D – at 599 points you have already reached the lowest level.
What are the penalty points for? If you drive a big car alone or as a couple, this is considered antisocial. It’s the same with a too big apartment. However, those who form driving and living communities (or a family), gets bonuses.