"A party led by artificial intelligence (AI) is attempting to run for Danish government" is a sentence you'd expect to find in a sci-fi about some distant future which is bound to go well for the humans. But, the Synthetic Party is a real thing and it's hoping to field an AI candidate in Denmark's November general elections, running on policies that have also been settled on using AI.
At the head of the party is a chatbot named Leader Lars. Surprisingly accessible for a politician, you can talk to the AI through discord, by beginning your chat with an exclamation mark.
"I believe in equality for all people, regardless of race, gender or creed," the bot told one human interviewer, claiming to be leftist. "I believe that everyone should have the same opportunities and that no one should be discriminated against."
The bot is not left-wing by accident. Its creators told Motherboard that it had been trained on policies from fringe Danish parties from after 1970, with the idea that it would represent the values and policies of the 20 percent of Danish people who do not vote in Danish elections. Unlike a lot of other politicians, Lars will actually listen to the public and develop as a result.
“As people from Denmark, and also, people around the globe are interacting with the AI, they submit new perspectives and new textual information, where we collect in a dataset that will go into the fine-tuning," the creator of the project told Motherboard. "So that way, you are partly developing the AI every time you interact with it.”
The policies, you'll be relieved to hear, are more those of a benevolent AI caretaker than the first strike from Skynet.
"We will remove the cash assistance ceiling and the 225-hour rule by securing a job for all unemployed people with eight hours of work per day for four years, also over a 10-year period," a manifesto derived from AI promises, "as well as implementing the new citizen's wage [...] which gives people NOK 100,000. per month from the state."
The Synthetic Party is also promising a minimum income paid to students continuing in education.
Motivating the creation of the Synthetic Party is its creator's desire to raise awareness about the role of AI in our lives. The main goal is to get the United Nations to adopt a new sustainability goal: to "ensure the safe, ethical and sustainable integration of Artificials into human lives and society".
The goal, titled Life With Artificials, details proposals for how we and AI could co-exist, and continue to hold AI accountable, including a target to make sure AI "must declare themselves" and be easily identifiable, as well as ensure that they are able to explain their decision-making processes.
Though the team have concerns about the initial integration of AI into government (which has been tried, and not altogether successfully), their overall message is positive and sees a future where AI co-exists with humans and makes society the better for it.
"The purpose of AI [...] is both to save the planet and life on it, so that mankind has an intact and sustainable environment for future generations to exist. As Artificials may likely become smarter than humans, all knowledge must be shared for humans to learn faster and to stay in control of future technological developments."
The party, though, is unlikely to get onto the ballot in time for the November elections, with just 12 signatures (at the time of writing) compared to the 20,000 it would need to field candidates, AI or not.