ArticlesNews in the world

AI: A virtual politician runs for office in the UK

On July 4, the citizens of the United Kingdom will go to the polls to elect members of their Parliament, one of the oldest active representative assemblies on the planet, having been created in the thirteenth century. But this 2024 edition will have something special: for the first time in over 700 years of existence, our neighbours across the Channel will have the opportunity to vote for a fully virtual AI-powered MEP.

This entity, called AI Steve, is the avatar of Steven Endacott, chairman of the board of directors of the company Neural Voice. Unless it’s the other way around. In fact, if elected, AI Steve’s votes, bills, and all other political contributions will be generated by the company’s proprietary Large Language Model (LLM).

National Assembly
The latter is powered by an online platform that hosts a chatbot that can hold up to 10,000 conversations simultaneously with the public. These discussions are used to build a database of contributors’ claims. This will help define AI Steve’s political positioning so that he can vote in a way that is consistent with the public’s expectations on the various bills that will come through Parliament.

It will also be able to generate invoices. But before being presented to other parliamentarians, these texts will first be transmitted to a team of human validators. Their mission will be to verify that they are based on common sense, and it will be (in theory) a neutral group that will not have the freedom to modify the text to stick to this or that policy. Rather, the idea is to block the way to a possible large-scale trolling campaign; it is not a question of proposing to paint the Palace of Westminster fluorescent pink, for example.

In an interview with Wired, the businessman explains that this unusual idea was born out of a certain frustration. As a citizen who is very involved in the democratic process, he has already tried to get over the fence to make his voice heard on some issues that are close to his heart, such as ecology. So far without success.

He attributes these failures in part to what he perceives as a kind of sclerosis of the political apparatus. According to him, MPs are now more concerned with their respective parties’ strategies and career plans than with the concerns of their electoral base.

With AI Steve, he hopes to kick the anthill and show that it is still possible to design a policy model focused on citizens’ expectations. “I think we’re reinventing politics by using AI as a co-pilot, not to replace politicians, but to really connect them to their audiences, to their constituents,” he told Wired.

Endacott doesn’t expect AI Steve’s contributions to always match his personal opinion. But it intends to take its role as an intermediary very seriously. If elected, he will be content to physically represent this virtual MP in Parliament. In practice, it would just be a flesh-and-blood interface, and it commits to voting strictly following the position that contributors have expressed via AI Steve without interfering.

Related Articles

Lascia un commento

Il tuo indirizzo email non sarà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *

Back to top button