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Will Democracies Stand Up to Big Brother?

Rapid advances in AI and AI-enhanced surveillance tools have created an urgent need for international norms and coordination to set sensible standards. But with oppressive authoritarian regimes unlikely to cooperate, the world's democracies should start preparing to play economic hardball.

CAMBRIDGE – Fiction writers have long imagined scenarios in which every human action is monitored by some malign centralized authority. But now, despite their warnings, we find ourselves careening toward a dystopian future worthy of George Orwell’s 1984. The task of assessing how to protect our rights – as consumers, workers, and citizens – has never been more urgent.