The next Military Operations Research Society (MORS) Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Community of Practice virtual meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 at Noon EST.
During this meeting, we will have a guest speaker, Dr. Weifeng Zhong, Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, who will speak on "Machine Learning and Open-Source Intelligence on China." His work bridges the field of natural language processing and machine learning to policy studies.
What will be Beijing’s next big moves? How close did the Chinese military come to cracking down on Hong Kong protesters in 2019? How severe was the COVID-19 pandemic in China, really? The Policy Change Index (PCI), an open-source machine learning project, tackles questions like these by drawing inferences from authoritarian propaganda. Using the People’s Daily—the CCP’s flagship newspaper—the PCI follows the content analysis tradition pioneered by WWII-era intelligence analysts but leverages recent advances in natural language processing to generalize and scale up the method. The same approach is applicable to other issues on China as well as to other authoritarian regimes with tight media control. Besides state media, other open-source data can also provide valuable intelligence on the Chinese regime. One example is data left unguarded on the internet in China. A data set curated by a cyber threat actor in China, for instance, reveals in detail China's geo-tracking of points of interests in Taiwan, including submarine cable landing stations and other ICT facilities. These tracking data add clarity to the kind of invasion planning the PLA may have for the island.
Dr. Weifeng Zhong is a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. His work bridges the field of natural language processing and machine learning to policy studies. Zhong leads the open-source Policy Change Index (PCI) project, a machine learning framework that uses propaganda text to facilitate policy inferences. The project has produced algorithms to predict China's major policy changes, predict the likelihood of a Chinese crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, and estimate the true scale of COVID-19 in China. The PCI has informed decision-makers in the U.S. and other governments. Zhong has been published in a variety of scholarly journals. He is a Washington Examiner contributor, and his work has been featured in numerous media outlets. Previously, Zhong was a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He has a Ph.D. and an M.Sc. in managerial economics and strategy from Northwestern University, an M.Econ. and an M.Phil. from the University of Hong Kong, and a B.A. from Shantou University in China.
To join, please use the below:
Conference Line: +1 (669) 224-3412
Access Code: 716-833-909