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China: The Interrogation (A Tale of AI and Revolution)

Stainless Steel Mouse is perhaps best known for being one of the first ‘netizens’ in China to be sent to prison. Today, she remains under house arrest while recent weeks have seen authorities use the call for Jasmine protests in China as a pretext to arrest or arrange for the disappearance of many of her peers. She also remains a huge Sci-Fi geek, and today published a short story that builds off some of her recent tweets, The Interrogation:

(本文纯属虚构,如有雷同纯属巧合)

(This text is pure fiction, any similarities are purely coincidence)

审讯者:茉莉花革命是谁策划的?
犯人:我不知道,不是我。

Interrogator: Who planned the Jasmine Revolution?
Prisoner: I don't know, it wasn't me.

审讯者:怎么有人举报说你跟他们讲过要在秘密树洞发推,号召网友聚集呢?我们有理由认为这事就是你干的。
犯人:这话不止我一个人讲过,很多人都讲过,英雄所见略同。至于树洞发推的,确实不是我,你们也没有证据证明是我发的。

Interrogator: Then why did someone report you, saying you told them you wanted to use @mimitree0 to send a tweet, and call for netizens to gather? We have reason to believe that it was you who did this.
Prisoner: It wasn't only me who said that, lots of people did, great minds think alike. As for the tweet that went out on @mimitree0, I can assure you it wasn't me who sent it, and nor do you have any evidence that proves it was me who sent it.

审讯者:还有谁讲过?
犯人;这个我不能告诉你。

Interrogator: Who else mentioned the idea?
Prisoner: I can't tell you that.

审讯者:好吧,既然你说不是你发的,那你知道是谁发的吗?
犯人:这个我确实不知道。

Interrogator: Okay, but since you say you didn't send it, do you know who did?
Prisoner: This I definitely don't know.

审讯者:那好,我们这样来说吧:如果让你猜的话,你猜是谁发的呢?
犯人:我对自己的猜测不负法律责任。

Interrogator: Okay then, how about this: If I were to ask you to guess, who would you say sent it?
Prisoner: I can't take legal responsibility for my own speculation.

审讯者:当然,你随便说,我也不记录。
犯人:要是我猜的话,我猜“没人”在树洞发推。

Interrogator: Of course, just say what you like, I won't record it.
Prisoner: If I had to guess, I'd say that nobody used @mimitree0 to send the tweet.

审讯者:你这是什么意思?
犯人:我认为发推的不是人。

Interrogator: What do you mean by that?
Prisoner: I think that it wasn't a person that sent the tweet.

审讯者:那是什么?
犯人:比如,可能是一个AI

Interrogator: Then what was it?
Prisoner: For example, it could have been AI.

审讯者:AI是谁?艾未未?
犯人:AI就是人工智能,也就是一个程序,就像病毒。

Interrogator: Who is AI? Ai Weiwei?
Prisoner: AI is artificial intelligence, but can also be a program, like a virus.

审讯者:你是要我相信是一个程序给我们制造了这么多麻烦?
犯人:这个程序要做的无非是在秘密树洞发消息,然后汇集和发布有关消息,并且根据网友的反馈做出修改,并不需要有多聪明。至于麻烦,其实是你们自己给自己制造的。不是你们大批抓人、重兵把守闹市区、殴打外国记者,根本就不会有什么麻烦。

Interrogator: You want me to believe that a program created all this trouble for us?
Prisoner: This program was only designed to send out information through @mimitree0, gathering and disseminating related information, as well as making adjustments based on netizen feedback, it didn't need to be that clever. As for the trouble, you actually created it all yourselves. If you hadn't arrested so many people and deployed such massive numbers to the city centers, beating up foreign reporters, then there wouldn't have been any trouble at all.

审讯者:胡说!革命肯定要有幕后黑手在组织,不可能是一个程序就把那么多人忽悠上了街。
犯人:确实不能说是一个程序把大家忽悠上街的——程序只是发布消息,得到消息的人按自己的意志行事,并不需要有人来组织。

Interrogator: Nonsense! There had to have been a mastermind organizing this revolution, it's impossible that a program could have tricked so many people out onto the street.
Prisoner: You can't say that a single program tricked all those people to take to the street—the program merely published information, and those who received the information acted on it of their own volition, there wasn't any need for someone to organize this.

审讯者:你确实是在胡说,我们知道一些海外民运人士在做茉莉花革命的组织工作。
犯人:其实那些人和上街的网友一样,都是事情发生之后才参与进来的。茉莉花行动有不止一个主页和推特帐号,而且彼此之间意见并不一致,经常发生分歧和争吵;他们也没有指挥网民的权力,相反,是网民在用自己的行动来选择他们的建议。可见茉莉花革命并不是有哪个黑手在组织,纯粹是每个人按自己的意志行动的结果。其实你们的行为也是在给革命推波助澜,但并不是革命的组织者命令你们这样做的,你们也在按自己的意愿行动,但效果是帮助传播了革命的信息。这就是茉莉花革命的逻辑。

Interrogator: You really are talking a lot of nonsense, we know that some overseas democracy activists were behind organizing the Jasmine Revolution.
Prisoner: Actually, they responded the same way that netizens who took to the street did, they only became involved after the incident took place. There wasn't just one page or Twitter account set up for the Jasmine action, and people weren't even in agreement with each other over what the purpose was, there were a number of differences of opinion and arguments; they didn't even have the power to give orders to netizens, quite the opposite, it was netizens who chose to accept their suggestions through their own actions. You can see how there was no mastermind behind the Jasmine Revolution, it was purely the result of people taking action of their own volition. Actually, it was your behavior that added fuel to the flames, and not some revolutionary organizer who ordered you to do what you did. You also took action of your own your volition, but the result was that it helped spread information about the revolution. This is the logic of the Jasmine Revolution.

审讯者:一个社会怎么可能没有组织者?那还不乱套了。
犯人:社会可以有许多组织者和行动者,但是并不需要一个核心的组织者。社会是自下而上演进出来的,是所有人行动的结果。无论多么强大的统治者,都无法让社会完全按自己的意志发展。

Interrogator: How can a society have no organizer? Everything would be chaos.
Prisoner: Society can have many organizers and actors, but it doesn't need one organizer at its core. Society evolves from the bottom up, it's the result of all people's actions. Regardless of how mighty a ruler is, it's still unable to force society to develop in complete accordance with its own volition.

审讯者:不管怎么说,就算是个程序也要有编程的人,他要对整个事件负责。
犯人:程序不一定是人编写出来的,程序也有可能是进化出来的,这就像人的意识不是上帝的造物,而是进化的产物一样。一个庞大而复杂的程序,可能在多年的进化中逐渐产生了意识,就是它发动了这次的茉莉花革命。

Interrogator: Despite what you're saying, even if it was a program, it still needed someone to write it, and he needs to take responsibility for all this.
Prisoner: It's not guaranteed that this program was written by a human, programs are able to evolve too. In the same way that human consciousness wasn't the creation of god, but a product of evolution. It's entirely possible that a gigantic and complex program, over the course of years of evolution, gradually developed consciousness, and it was this that launched the Jasmine Revolution.

审讯者(咆哮):你到底在说什么!!
犯人:我说的是GFW,也就是Great Firewall。

Interrogator (growling): Just what on earth are you talking about!!
Prisoner: I'm talking about GFW, the Great Firewall of China.

2 comments

  • […] [en] och människorättsaktivister i februari. Bland dessa återfinns bloggaren och aktivisten Liu Di [en], den framstående aktivisten och konstnären Ai Weiwei [en], författaren från […]

  • […] ricavato dalla dissidente cinese Liu Di dalla rielaborazione di alcuni suoi tweet, è apparso in inglese su Global Voices. La traduzione è mia.) Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. CensuraCinaDissidenza […]

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