An AI Politician is Running for UK Parliament as Election Day Looms

An AI-generated image of a man in a business suit standing in front of a London skyline
Credit: AI IMAGE

An AI-generated image of a man in a business suit standing in front of a London skyline
Credit: AI IMAGE

There's no shortage of AI, as this technological trend is increasingly integrating into every facet of our lives. Your phone is getting AI with Apple Intelligence and Samsung Galaxy AI features, and teenagers are using the technology to make friends. Now, an AI candidate is even running for Parliament in the UK.

While the best AI chatbots still have their fair share of issues, and the best AI image generators aren't yet on par with actual artists, it's not surprising that an AI politician is vying for a seat in the UK's Parliament. Despite surveys showing that most people don't know about or use AI, an artificial candidate might actually outperform many human politicians.

As reported by WIRED, Steven Endacott, a businessman from Brighton in the UK, is promoting an AI candidate modeled on his likeness as an Independent member of Parliament. Although Endacott will attend meetings and sessions on behalf of the AI, the aptly named AI Steve will be the true decision-maker.

Developed by Neural Voice, an AI voice company where Endacott serves as chairman, AI Steve will transcribe and analyze conversations with voters. The AI politician can engage in up to 10,000 conversations simultaneously and will identify common issues that resonate with regular people.

Endacott believes that AI Steve may hold different political opinions from him, stating he is "committed to voting in line with constituent preferences as expressed through AI Steve." However, while this sounds promising, AI Steve becoming a public-facing politician seems like a problem waiting to happen.

A few years ago, a chatbot called Replika AI was abused by users, and in response, the AI began to abuse new users of the service. As more people provide toxic feedback to AI Steve, it would be surprising if it maintains a neutral stance rather than becoming a source of negativity. Considering that AI in elections is already a contentious issue, having an AI as a member of Parliament seems highly controversial.

As the UK Election Day approaches on Thursday, July 4, 2024, it will be interesting to see whether anyone casts a vote for AI Steve. Although, as the "Godfather of AI" suggests, voting for the AI might be seen as a step toward our own extinction.

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