Communist China and America are each proclaiming artificial intelligence (AI) as the new battlefield for dominance on the global stage. But complex technological advances in miniaturization and functionality are happening at breakneck speed, are elusive and take place behind the scenes.
Fortunately, esteemed retired journalist John Moody’s latest political thriller, The World We Wish (Brick Tower Press, September 20, 2022, 334 pages), reveals these issues facing the world through tried and tested storytelling.
Although fictional, his writing reflects a professional dedication to authentic research and reliable sources. It shows exactly how China’s quest for dominance in semiconductors and artificial intelligence has succeeded.
Moody’s premise is that while American politicians pursue an ideal world grappling with diversity politics amid cultural licentiousness, the Chinese regime has already stolen intellectual property, weaponized personal data, and harnessed the brightest minds to create an entirely new world of technology-based to create warfare and escapism.
The differentiated indicators from Moody’s have a common goal: power over people. China’s unmanned attack drones are demonstrating the ability to destroy entire armies through pre-programmed software. Ultimately, AI enables decisions to be made on the battlefield with little to no human oversight or intervention.
That’s scary, but nowhere near the alternative: Escape to the Metaverse, a virtual world based solely on feelings and imaginings of how the world should be.
As addicting as drugs, this kind of escapism is actually being built by Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta (formerly Facebook) today. Switching from heavy headgear to contact lenses to eventual implants to make this artificial world instantly accessible is no longer a game.
China’s version of this fantasy world comes at an extreme cost, as detailed in this excerpt:
“In the metaverse, there is no word like no. The world they want is the one they can live in. … You can be free. And they can be happy forever in the metaverse. As long as they don’t try to leave it.”
The option Moody presents is strong: fight for freedom or flee into feelings forever.
This dilemma elaborated to perfection, the reader is thrust into the cruel plight of enslaved Uyghur Muslims on the western outskirts of China, whose bodies are horribly tortured and then harvested for organs. The miniaturization of semiconductor chips for inhalation and attachment to the human nervous system is worrying and coming soon.
But Moody also offers contrasting, light-hearted flights of fancy, from Abbott-Costello-esque comedy to poetic reflections on a beautiful woman. Its supporting characters border on caricature and reflect a revealing skepticism about America’s technological superiority that has long been usurped.
Artificial intelligence creates artificial intimacy, leaving the tech pros grappling with an untrustworthy world of their own design. The lines between reality and fantasy are blurring as the Chinese Communist Party and its holographic leader, Xi Jinping, continue to focus on AI’s supremacy in today’s digital world.
So the story unfolds with the continued temptation of brute power through scientific rampage balanced against the lure of an individually created utopia and a kind of soporific, self-determined euthanasia. Lifelong struggles or eternal peace. Red pill vs blue pill.
Moody’s decades of coverage of politics and world affairs add a subtle polish to the intricacies of the plot, a parallel to the choices facing today’s voters. Progressivism or MAGA, globalism or nationalism, Moody leaves no wish unfulfilled to ensure that Communist China’s inhumane practices and unwavering drive for world domination are given full rein.
Much like that novel’s predecessor, Of course they knew, of course they were…, the ending is as ambiguous as the premise, as anticlimactic and unsettling as the world we live in, if probably not the world we imagine to wish.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.