1) I don't think that modern computers (including AI) present any unique danger of abuse by dictators. Everything a dictatorial regime can do with modern computers, they could do long before computers were invented.
In the context of this discussion, some parts of the above are true, while as a whole it is blatantly misleading:
100 years ago (your time frame), before computers, they couldn't get automated
- activity tracking (movements, writings, interactions)
- visual feeds (activated by facial recognition when necessary)
- subject locations
- subject alerts
- communications intercepts
- and they didn't have the ability to scoop up the above date for all of their citizenry at the same time
- and they couldn't tell what people were purchasing (because it was all cash)
- and they couldn't instantly tell what bank they belonged to (because people paid cash)
- and they couldn't get automated alerts when a person said a key word on a phone
The above is obvious, and rather undebatable - the differences are quite significant. And again, you work in a field in a position to know this, so it is incredibly unlikely I am telling you anything new...so I start wondering why you keep phrasing everything in the most minimalistic way possible, rather than dealing with what is (whether or not it would ever be used for harm is another issue). It leads me to suspect that you are directly working on AI that invades peoples privacy and have to justify your involvement in such to yourself...
...which actually wouldn't bother me if you just dealt with the reality of the difference between automated computer surveillance and human surveillance.
Your current argument is like comparing the feudal lord with 1000 muskets to a feudal lord with 1000 assault rifles and trying to say the feudal lord with the muskets is going to be as militarily effective as the one with the assault rifles, or perhaps closer to your comparison...the feudal lord with horseback couriers is going to be as effective at surveillance as the feudal lord with surveillance drones. Both of those are over the top comparisons...but they do show just how much you are attempting to minimise through your comparison of 100 years ago vs now (you appear to be attempting to imply there is no difference)