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AI for MP: Is an Artificial Intelligence Politician Possible?

AI steve MP UK

As the UK heads to the polls for the next general election on July 4th, 2024, one candidate stands out from the rest – AI Steve. Running to represent the constituency of Brighton Pavilion, AI Steve aims to become the first-ever artificial intelligence member of parliament. 

AI Steve is the creation of Steve Endacott, an entrepreneur and chairman of the AI voice company Neural Voice. Rather than being an autonomous system, AI Steve would function as an interactive avatar and policy creation tool. Endacott would occupy the seat in parliament but commit to voting according to the preferences expressed to AI Steve by constituents. 

The campaign aims to demonstrate how AI could increase democratic participation by allowing voters to engage directly with representatives through online conversations. AI Steve would analyze these interactions to develop policy positions. Endacott sees it as a way to give power back to voters and make politicians more accountable to citizens’ real concerns.

However, as the first attempt at “AI democracy”, AI Steve faces significant technical and practical challenges. While capable of thousands of simultaneous conversations, the system has only been active for a short time. There are also questions around how Endacott would reconcile any differences between his personal views and those AI Steve derives from constituents. 

Nevertheless, early signs show voters are willing to engage. According to reports, early issues raised to AI Steve include Palestine, local trash collection, and climate change. This indicates real potential for AI to gather insights on diverse public opinions that traditional politicians may overlook.

For observers, AI Steve represents a glimpse into a future where advanced technology plays a role in politics. Some see opportunities to give more citizens a voice and make representatives more responsive. But others warn that hidden biases could still influence such systems without robust transparency and oversight.  

Ultimately, AI Steve may be more of an experiment than a genuine revolution in British democracy for this election cycle. Much depends on how well Endacott and Neural Voice can scale the promising early interactions into a fully functional policy-making tool. There are also open legal questions about whether an AI could truly hold elected office.

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