Artificial Intelligence and the Ultimate Democracy: No Politicians. No Corruption. No Elections.
We live in a society, and very naturally, in the process of division of labor, we empower politicians to take care of our common interests. As stipulated in the Declaration of Independence, “…— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, …” What we call government is usually politicians elected in top decision making positions like president, ministers or secretaries or in parliament, Congress and other important institutions. And politics is about government projecting the aggregated individual interests of us all – the millions of voting taxpayers, into corresponding adequate policies, and implementing those policies by spending our – the taxpayers’ money accumulated in the budget (treasury) of the country.
That explains why it’s not only our right to closely follow how the government spends our money: it’s our obligation, stemming from the self-respect in regard to the things that are important to us, and from the public interest to keep the democratic machine moving smoothly to where the majority of us wants our nation to go.
In reality, however, politics function in a very different manner.
Both Presidential and Congressional elections have consequences on your immediate socioeconomic, ecological, security, etc. environment. Naturally, you want to vote for the candidate whose positions on key issues during the campaign are closest to your interests.
The fight for the ballot papers, however, logically turns the election campaign into clash between the PR units of the contending parties that provide the voters with no reliable ground to calculate the future political behavior of a President, or member of the Congress. Because, once elected, the new president starts following a different agenda: one that is formed by the real-time political priorities and that is influenced by the top donors of her/his campaigning. Big political money could distort decisions and favour the interests of small groups at the expense of larger communities of citizens. The result: “Political scientists have been studying the question of campaign promises for almost 50 years, and the results … suggest that presidents make at least a “good faith” effort to keep an average of about two-thirds of their campaign promises;”
But politics is not mathematics, and only if you are politically lucky, the campaign promises that made you vote for that particular politician might prevailingly fall into the “fulfilled” promises. Otherwise, you will well understand another set of statistics: Confidence in institutions, where currently trust in the Congress is about six percent.
Each condition has alternative solutions, and the wisdom of the forefathers should never be underestimated: “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
So, let’s consider a totally different method of Government taking care of our interests:
Elect Policies, not Politicians
The current Political System:
At certain point of the presidential race, based on your individual circumstances, condition and interests, you have decided that your personal top ten key issues that will determine for whom of the five candidates A, B, C, D and E, you will vote, are as follows:
In the following table the five candidates’ positions on the above issues are marked “Yes” when you support, “No” when you are against, and “?” when the candidate has no clear position on that issue, with last raw calculated as “Yes” points minus “No” points:
|Your Individual Key Issues||A||B||C||D||E|
|1||Should Any Public Colleges or Universities Be Tuition-Free?||No||Yes||?||Yes||Yes|
|2||Should US Election Campaigns Be Publicly Financed?||?||Yes||Yes||Yes||?|
|3||Should Fracking Be Allowed?||Yes||Yes||?||Yes||?|
|4||Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?||?||No||Yes||?||No|
|5||Should the National Security Agency (NSA) Continue to Collect Phone and Email Metadata on US Citizens?||Yes||Yes||?||Yes||No|
|6||Should the United States Transition Away from Fossil Fuels and Towards Renewable Energy?||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|7||Should Genetically Modified (GMO) Foods Have Mandatory Labelling?||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|8||Should the Death Penalty Be Allowed?||?||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|9||Should There Be a Flat Tax on Income?||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|10||Should the US Return to the Gold Standard in Which Coin and Currency Are Backed by Gold?||No||?||Yes||Yes||No|
None of the above five candidates fits all your priorities, but you still have a clear favourite: you would vote for candidate B. In the course of the campaign, however, B and C drop out of the race, and you vote in the election for the best that is still available – D. That lowers your potential joy of eventual victory from 7 to the 5 points promised by D.
The Artificial Intelligence Political System
Functions as a sophisticated interplay of several AI modules:
AI Module 1: Letters to Santa Claus
In the above table, no one of the running candidates is your ideal candidate. But you should not worry about that – design your personal ideal President yourself: take a pen, and put down everything that you think the government could do to make you happy. It could be something like a demanding letter to Santa Claus, but you shouldn’t be modest: Pursuit of Happiness is Your Unalienable Right, and it is your government that has to take care of it.
When all the millions of your fellow citizens submit their letters to Santa Claus into a national data base, AI will analyze all of them, sort in categories such as Economy & Taxes, Education, Crime & Justice, Labor & Wages, Health Care, Abortion, & End of Life Issues, etc. Functioning as a direct democracy procedure, this AI module will automatically constitute a new category in case certain new type of request exceeds, for example, 300 000 entries.
The final product of AI Module 1 would be a list of few hundred Key Political Issues on which the public interest is strongly focused, with the number of voters Pro, Con or Neutral on each Key Political issue. And that already provides a clear-cut guidance for the Government what policy to follow on that particular issue.
What AI does in this module is analyzing the millions of ideal “presidents” as described by each one of the voters, extracting their expressed preferences on each major political issue, quantifying the public support or rejection on each policy, and, in fact, aggregating the results into a comprehensive political program that will represent the “ideal President” at the point of time.
AI Module 2: Foreign Policy, National Security, Defence, and response to changes in the outer political environment
You don’t have to understand everything in the above areas. But the high professionals in the corresponding government Departments must be a zero-compromise edge. In the capacity of experts, not as politicians. Debatable only within qualified expertise community, and with limited transparency.
AI module 3: Designing economic policy for growth that maximizes the tax revenue in long-term dimensions.
AI module 4: Determining priorities of the whole system, e.g. capabilities of AI Module 2, favouring key factors such as science and technology advance, etc.
AI module 5: Dynamic optimization of overall correlated processes within the whole system.
The Artificial Intelligence Political System would have many advantages. In our current reality, for example, all politicians who run for President always promise to be the President for the whole nation. But human nature has never excelled at being impartial, and that is only one of the reasons why the results of any political election have always divided the society into two, at times very close in numbers, very distinct groups – the “winners “and the “losers”. With a transparent Artificial Intelligence procedure there will be no winners and no losers in a continuous process of optimizing resources – results ratio that is not disrupted by political elections.
With the relevant data fully transparent and published, all government policies would enjoy massive public understanding, support and trust. In such circumstances if you are not satisfied with a particular government decision, you cannot blame the bureaucrats. Your only choice would be to accept the reality that you do not belong to the majority opinions of your fellow citizens.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what is the name or the background of your President. It doesn’t matter what is his or her political party. It doesn’t matter even if they came to power through an uncontested democratic process, or on a military plane, or designed in an AI laboratory. The only thing that matters for political power is that they have the unbreakable determination and the edge capabilities to defend Your singular interest, as related to the interests of all community members.
And from all we know from politics in our history, no human would ever be in position to do the job better than an Artificial Intelligence assisted President.