The Policy Change Index (PCI) is a series of open-source machine learning projects that predict authoritarian regimes’ major policy moves by “reading” their propaganda publications. The first three projects inducted into the series are about China’s policies and based on its official newspaper — the People’s Daily.
PCI-China: predicts China’s policy changes from 1951 Q1 to the present.
PCI-Crackdown: predicts how close in time the 2019-20 Hong Kong protests are to a Tiananmen-like crackdown by China.
PCI-Outbreak: measures the severity of an epidemic outbreak in China, such as COVID-19.
A spike in the PCI-China signals a major policy change, while a vertical bar marks the ground truth of the change labeled by the event. The PCI-China often spikes months before policy changes take place, validating the index’s predictive power. Click here to learn more about how it works.
The closer the PCI-Crackdown gets to the June 4 line, the higher the possibility of a Tiananmen-like crackdown. The PCI-Crackdown for the 2019-20 Hong Kong protests remained within three weeks from the crackdown line throughout 2019. The issue reemerged in 2020 as China pushed for a national security law. In comparison, the PCI-Crackdown for the 2014 Hong Kong protests is lower and downward-trending. Click here to learn more about how it works.
The index uses the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) as the benchmark. The higher the indicator, the larger the scale of the outbreak. Click here to learn more about how it works.
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Jul 9, 2020: The PCI-Outbreak for COVID-19 in China was launched.
Jun 4, 2020: The 2020 Q1 number of the PCI-China is released.
May 27, 2020: We resumed the daily updates on PCI-Crackdown as Hong Kong protests reemerged.
May 15, 2020: Zhong discussed the new PCI-Outbreak project in an ALEC podcast.
Mar 5, 2020: We wrote about how the PCI capitalizes the “value” of propaganda in the Yale Journal of International Affairs.
Feb 10, 2020: The research paper behind the PCI-Crackdown is released.
Jan 29, 2020: Zhong gave a Tech Demo on the PCI projects at the State Dept’s Global Engagement Center.
PCI-China: to be upgraded to monthly.
PCIs for North Korea, Cuba, Iran, etc.