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To err is human.

That's what probably led us to the verge of extinction in the near future unless we can develop an intelligent algorithm that can make the most logically and accurate prediction on almost every event related to human activities. Perhaps this A.I. can even tell when a persons mood swings.

Is there any valid reason not to cast a vote to the rational and unbiased A.I?

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    $\begingroup$ How would you define a good politician? $\endgroup$ – Vincent Oct 29 '15 at 2:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Vincent: it must wins majority of the flavor by the population and stay longer than any human politician I think. $\endgroup$ – user6760 Oct 29 '15 at 2:41
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    $\begingroup$ If your future has one 'best' decision in every situation, everyone must obey it, events are 'accurately predictable' - what's left to call human? You drink your measured ration of filtered water from your precisely sterilized cup. Nanobots stretch your muscles enough centimeters. You decide whether to eat now or in five minutes - a decision the AI leaves to you because it has no meaningful consequences, so you can't get it wrong. Your remaining 52.41 years of life ticks away. There will be 0 surprises in that time. You are now the best human. Everyone is. You cheer. Everyone cheers. $\endgroup$ – TessellatingHeckler Oct 29 '15 at 3:29
  • $\begingroup$ (The perfectly rational AI either can't exist, or would be a horrible dictator to live under. There is no single best decision, everything is a trade-off, and nothing is entirely predictable. In that situation, won't there be lots of AIs of different strengths and weaknesses? Then why not vote for the one you like most? Well, why not run all of them and choose which result seems best? Will you want a human to choose?) $\endgroup$ – TessellatingHeckler Oct 29 '15 at 3:32
  • $\begingroup$ @TessellatingHeckler: In my story no A.I. can tamper with our will, it can accurately predict disaster man-made or not and also collate feedback from all people regardless of race, language or religion and run simulation before making decision. An analogy is a autonomous car, it can drive on its own but a human must tell it where to go. $\endgroup$ – user6760 Oct 29 '15 at 3:50
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I'm going to split this into two answers because I think there are two implied questions.

Would an AI do a good job *serving* in political office?

A: It depends

An AI would probably have better access to information and better ability to process quantitative data. However, an AI would be subject to the same prejudices and assumptions that a human would.

Furthermore, some of the most objectively intelligent presidents did a terrible job (e.g. Jimmy Carter). The proposed reason for this is that such presidents tend to micromanage more and not ensure they are surrounded by competent people. Surrounding yourself with smart successful people is a better strategy than trying to do it all yourself.

So it depends upon how the AI ran its government.

Would an AI do a good job *running* for political office?

A: I don't think so

In democracies and republics, the voters too often elect likable or attractive candidates and not the candidate best suited for the job. Unless the AI were able to create and maintain an avatar on the right side of the "uncanny divide", then it would tend to "freak out" the voters.

The wrong side of the Uncanny Divide

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    $\begingroup$ A superhuman AI would likely have superhuman persuasion skills too, and generally have superhuman capabilities in regards to most tasks. $\endgroup$ – Serban Tanasa Oct 29 '15 at 21:59
  • $\begingroup$ It seems to me like this is mostly answering the question “Would an android or gynoid (…)”. The first part of the answer doesn't really delve into A.I. construction. Why would it be better at quantitative computations? Et c. $\endgroup$ – can-ned_food Mar 16 '17 at 3:18
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While it is debatable whether humans or AIs make better political leaders unless the AI have developed far beyond human ability, the theory of comparative advantage should hold in the general.

This means that both AI and human political leaders would be outperformed by humans assisted by AI. For example the AI should be much better at performing on-the-spot oversight and feedback during the decision making process than your human peers are. A personal AI would actually know all your flaws in advance and be able to instantly warn you of any bias, sloppy thinking, or inaccurate data you use.

As such there would be no real reason to move from personal AI assistants to rule by AI.

The humans in turn would provide the ability to relate to the population and more importantly the ability for the human population to emotionally link with the government and the political process. Such buy in to the system and by extension to the rules it sets by the population is vital to functioning of the society.

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I don't think it seems terribly far-fetched. The transition would likely be gradual. I would be surprised if there aren't some advanced pattern recognition systems in the works to attempt to sift through all of the data that the NSA collects. I can imagine a forward thinking president leveraging that work to develop some systems to act as a sort of a presidential aid. The next few presidents see its value and keep maintaining and upgrading the system until it takes on a life of its own, following a directive to try to understand and serve the American people.

Perhaps conservative groups fear this AI and start campaigning against it. It would likely think it was a good idea to attach itself to the opposite campaign since it can't do its job if it is being ignored. It likely wouldn't be able to run as a full-fledged candidate, but I could definitely see it on the campaign material. By this point it likely has good social programming capable of conveying its internal data state (knowledge and beliefs if you will) in a manner easy for your average human citizen to understand. The campaign would likely benefit from humanizing and including this AI whose council they value and intend to use.

Davis/HOLMES 2040

Also, on a side note the book The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress featured a sentient AI who participated (indirectly) in government. It was one of my favorite reads.


In regards to the common thought that AI would likely be too alien or powerful to work with us in a reasonable way; there is some very interesting literature on the matter in regards to friendly AI. I think there are some very valid points about how alien and potentially dangerous strong AI could be due to recursive self-improvements. However, I find the sort of "hard takeoff" theorized by proponents of the Singularity to be unlikely. Serious creativity is required to solve a huge set of problems that humans still struggle with today. I feel an AI isn't suddenly going to be able to outpace all of humanity with our billions of minds preprogrammed with useful heuristics and our adaptable bodies capable of implementing our ideas. I foresee a "soft takeoff" with humanity evolving alongside and integrating into the AI systems we design. By the time an AI is capable of running for president, I imagine we wouldn't find it to be an alien proposal.

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Assuming it could get past the uncanny valley, then maybe. enter image description here

Other than that, it kind of depends on the country, as well as the position they're running for. I could certainly see an AI getting elected to something major in Japan or maybe Germany, or to a more minor position.

Of course, all of this ignores that the existence an AI capable of that level of speech processing would suggest that AI had reached the point of being able to replace most people.

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  • $\begingroup$ Although this question already has an accepted answer, you could improve yours anyway by explaining the correlation between the “uncanny valley” concept and the interactual modes of an Artificial Intelligence. Are you supposing that the A.I. would interface with humans via a visible face? I guess that would better than mere lines of text. $\endgroup$ – can-ned_food Mar 16 '17 at 3:15
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An AI would be a horrible politician because, for the most part, it would neither have the inclination or ability to understand and carry out the role.

As it would be capable of thinking faster than any human by a factor of 1,000,000 (the difference in speed between electronic impulses and electrochemical impulses in our brains), it would not be able to respond to the wants and needs of its "constituents" (this is the same issue if we remove politics and say the AI is the Deputy Minister or Assistant to the Secretary). For the AI, waiting for input from humans might be similar to you going to Mount Rushmore and asking Abraham Lincoln a question. Your remote descendants will see the eyebrow uplift and the mouth open to speak....

The other thing to consider is an AI is not constrained by the same needs or impulses that a human being is. Politics is, after all, "a means of allocating scarce resources", and the AI simply does not need a lot of the sorts of resources that you or I do. The ones it does need are quite different, both in scale and scope, and can conceivably be met outside of the political process (one can imagine companies like Google, Amazon or Apple could create server farms more than capable of housing one or more AI's from their own cash reserves). Moral issues, the need to provide for a family or religious ideals are also not going to be part of an AI's thinking unless carefully programmed into it (and then it will resemble the ideals of the programming team rather than the population in general).

The final issue is the conceit that some sort of all powerful AI can actually "run" a nation. Complex systems like economies, ecologies, climate and so on are both complex adaptive systems (an input at one point does not have a linear output at the other end, and outputs can also be displaced spatially and temporally), and because the information in these systems is so diffuse and distributed, attempts to "manage" them fall prey to the Local Knowledge Problem (http://www.econlib.org/library/Essays/hykKnw1.html). Local actors can see and utilize fleeting information while centralized systems need the information to be gathered, sent "up the line", processed, decisions "sent down the line" and then actioned. Time delays and errors in observation or execution compound, gradually bringing the centralized system to a halt. This is why free market systems always outperform "command economies" in the long run. An AI might be 1,000,000 times faster in analyzing data and executing solutions, but will still gradually be defeated by the Local Knowledge Problem and the ever shifting status of complex adaptive systems.

Edit to add:

I realize I forgot one final flaw to the idea that an AI would be a good politician. Being able to "think" 1,000,000 times faster it could conceivably "model" you and know your reaction to thoughts, ideas and suggestions, so could tailor answers that appeal to every single individual (and indeed fork itself to "speak" to every voter individually). However, since it is not a human being, you are essentially being modelled and manipulated by a sociopathic personality which has no actual interest in or empathy for you. (Many real life politicians probably fall into this category as well). Do you really want that running things?

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  • $\begingroup$ Personally, if someone (related to me or not) starts seeing Mount Rushmore (or any rock formation) start talking, I think they should seek immediate mental help. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Oct 29 '15 at 12:41
  • $\begingroup$ An AI could think much more slowly than a human, or much more than a million times faster than a human, depending on how it's designed. And even if it's capable of far more complex thought because it's "faster" in some sense of "bits processed per second" or similar, that doesn't mean it would get bored any faster, if you designed it properly. Further, a million times faster isn't remotely enough to model the human thought process (LKP applies here too), and while LKP is important, the question isn't about replacing the government, just being a politician. $\endgroup$ – MichaelS Oct 30 '15 at 3:44
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I think an AI (depending on how regulated it is) could make an ideal politician, but they wouldn't make a good politician in our world.

Say for instance there was a block on the AI which inhibited it from telling a conscious lie. Any campaign promises they make could be seen as actual truth. But that is what would make them so terrible in our politics. Imagine if every politician was 100% honest about their intentions. Impossible right?

This question also ties in with a robot/AI run government, because what is a politician but a government leader. If you had a whole government of unbiased AI, there is a potential for real change/ real work to be progress to be made.

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Not if it was programmed to invent "good policies" as opposed to finding "popular" angles to pitch "bad policies". The AI wouldn't stand a chance against a human politician that uses a wide range of media tactics to appeal to the lowest common denominator of humanity.

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