Her name ? Lars. Its function? lead a political party. In Denmark, artificial intelligence (AI) could well win a parliamentary seat in 2023 if it garners enough votes. At the origins of this unusual project is a team of Danish artists Computer Lars. They founded the Synthetic Party and turned to the Mindfuture Foundation technology center with a request to create artificial intelligence.
In order to feed the AI with ideas and allow it to build a political platform, the collective fed it with ideas from Danish parties that are too small to participate in elections. Electoral measures covering the period from the 1970s to the present day. According to Computer Lars, these parties work more on identifying new ideas and alternative projects than parties that are already well established. The aim of this approach is to represent the 20% of the Danish population who do not vote in elections because they do not feel represented by the country’s main parties.
Is artificial intelligence more representative than humans?
“We hope that the Synthetic Party can turn an established political system into something capable of representing very different citizens and their political views,” artist and philosopher Asker Brild Staunas, a member of the collective, told the Danish newspaper Morgenavisen. .
This particular AI has taken the form of a chatbot, software capable of carrying on a conversation with a human without human intervention. This chatbot named Leader Lars is present on Discord, an instant messaging platform. He answers all political questions addressed to him. You can ask him questions in Danish or English, but he only answers in Danish.
A political program that develops through interaction
“Both Danes and people around the world are interacting with AI, they are presenting new perspectives and new textual information. Thus, we collect a set of data that will be included in the final setup. In a sense, you contribute to the development of AI every time you interact with it, ”Asker Brild Staunas explained to Motherboard.
Among the electoral measures supported by Leader Lars is a general income of 100,000 Danish kroner per month (about 13,500 euros). This is double the current average salary in Denmark. However, when the chatbot is asked how this universal income will be funded, leader Lars remains unclear. He talks about “taxation”, but without going into detail, and makes contact: “I believe that the amount of the universal basic income should be sufficient to cover the basic needs of a person, such as food, shelter and ‘clothing.’ The exact amount will vary depending on the economic situation in the country.”
Specifically, if AI were to run for the Danish Parliament, this could only be done through a real candidate who would commit to follow AI’s decisions exactly. However, the Synthetic Party is, for now, far from hoping to bring artificial intelligence into Denmark’s political mysteries. Indeed, to stand in the legislative elections scheduled for June 2023, a party must collect 20,182 signatures. So far, he has collected… 11.
And his latest statements should not help him catch on. When asked on Discord what position Denmark should take on the conflict in Ukraine, the chatbot replied that the country should not take a position. “The Synthetic Party believes that we should support both Russia and Ukraine. We believe that they are necessary for stability in the region and in the world.”
Regarding Crimea and the country that the region should belong to, leader Lars believes that “Crimea belongs to the people who live there.” The chatbot may not have been elected yet, but he has mastered the forest language of politicians…
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