AI-led political party aims to fight general election in Denmark
The general elections in Denmark which are about to take place in November this year could see the rise of a synthetic political power, namely the Synthetic Party, a newly formed political organization which claims to be run by an AI chatbot.
Founded by Danish artist and researcher Asker Bryld Staunæs, the Synthetic Party aims to provide representation to Danish fringe parties which, despite a 20% vote share, have no seats in parliament.
AI chatbot and party leader, Leader Lars runs a handful of discord (@Leder Lars) and is a strong supporter of politics advocated by the aforementioned fringe parties. You can talk to the AI chatbot on Discord, just be sure to start your sentences with a “!”. The AI takes input in English but responds to you in Danish.
Although he is a machine, Lars will not be able to stand for election alone, so there are human members in the party who will participate on behalf of the AI. While explaining the goals of his AI-led party, Staunæs Told VICE:
“We represent the data of all fringe parties, so these are all parties that try to get elected to parliament but do not have a seat. It is therefore a person who has formed his own political vision that he would like to achieve, but he usually does not have the money or the resources to do so.
So what does the AI-led party stand for?
Staunæs thinks his party and AI chief could act as a bridge between humans and the various AI-based technologies that could benefit mankind. The party falls under the general guise of Techno-populism, Synthetismand radical democracybut it is difficult to crystallize an ideology when the party itself admits to being a synthesis of other unrepresented ideologies.
Unlike systems that act as virtual politicians and aim to fight elections, his party’s goal is to raise awareness about how AI can be reasonably incorporated into various segments of our lives. For example, one of the issues supported by Chief Lars and his party is universal basic income.
Leader Lars thinks that since machines aren’t biased like humans, they should play a part in configuring settings for basic income in the country because they can objectively analyze the needs of citizens and propose a fair model. The AI-derived party policy favors a basic income of $13,700 (100,000 Danish kroner) for every Danish citizen. Chief Lars says that a basic income model developed with the help of AI has the potential to reduce poverty in the country.
Another policy change that the synthetic party recommends is the formation of Internet-based computer and technology companies. with government participation. The party believes that government involvement in the technology sector could make the ecosystem more transparent and reliable. Government could decide responsibility for AI and other technologies in case a bias is reported in the system.
However, these claims should not be blindly believed as the fact is that an AI system can also be biased — and at the risk of stating the obvious, an AI is an imperfect, narrow and unconscious system. There is a common misconception that AI is actually smart, when in fact it is only good for narrow tasks. But even when AI is used for a narrow purpose (like diagnosing disease based on medical imaging), any imperfection in the data can be disastrous. Similar to any data-driven system, a machine learning model generates an output based on the input it receives. Thus, if the input entered into the model is biased, it would generate a biased output. A die most common examples technological biases are the social media algorithms that decide which ad, video or post will appear next in our feed.
Yes, but: the party hasn’t done anything yet
The party aims to integrate an initiative named “Life with artificial objectsas the 18th UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). The initiative was started by MindFuture Foundation, the organization that founded the Synthetic party alongside Staunæs. It promotes the implementation of educational programs aimed at improving man-machine collaboration deal with social and environmental issues issues like climate change and inequality.
The Life With Artificials website mentions: “The Global Goals overlook the presence and role of next-generation technologies in our daily lives. Both in terms of how advances in artificial intelligence, robotics and biotechnology can be harnessed to achieve the other 17 SDGs, and the various dilemmas that arise with their growing presence. AI technology must be recognized as a new paradigm that is changing human conditions. »
But although the Synthetic party promises various attractive policy changes and reforms, it is currently just another newly formed political organization that has yet to build supporters and secure a seat in parliament. According to the general election rules in Denmark, a political party needs at least 20,000 voter signatures to be able to participate in the November elections, but so far the synthetic party has only obtained 12 signatories. While that may likely change soon, it’s still unclear whether or not they can make a significant impact in the country. For now, the party seems little more than a publicity stunt, and it remains to be seen if it will lead to any concrete changes.
This means that the AI-led party needs to expand its reach to a large extent if it really wants to emerge as a considerable option in front of Danish voters. Staunæs thinks it will take some time, but they are already working on it, and they also intend to establish local versions of their party in other European countries as well.