Introducing: The Synthetic Party, a new political party in Denmark that hopes to soon have a parliament seat. Oh, and by the way, its head honcho, Leader Lars, is actually an AI chatbot, and all of its policies are AI-derived. Cool?
Asker Staunæs, the creator of the party and an artist-researcher at the nonprofit art and tech organization MindFuture, told Motherboard that Leader Lars is specifically trained on policies formed by post-1970 Danish fringe parties — and thus, he says, the party is designed to collectively represent the roughly 20 percent of present-day Danish voters whose parties remain unrepresented in parliament.
"We're representing the data of all fringe parties, so it's all of the parties who are trying to get elected into parliament but don't have a seat," Staunæs told the site. "So it's a person who has formed a political vision of their own that they would like to realize, but they usually don't have the money or resources to do so."
Leader Lars is, in a way, an inherent populist, as its "policies" — which according to Motherboard include universal basic income and "jointly-owned internet and IT sector in the government" — are entirely crowdsourced from existing human data and creation. But that being said, Staunæs doesn't necessarily believe that Leader Lars perfectly democratic.
"Artificial intelligence in the form of machine learning, has already absorbed so much human input that we can say that in one way, everybody participates in these models through the data that they have submitted to the Internet," Staunæs told Motherboard. "But the systems as we have today are not encouraging more active participation, where people actually take control of their data and images, which we can in another way through this concentrated form that publicly available machine learning models offer."
Importantly, because Leader Lars is in fact a machine, it's not allowed to run for public office itself. The same rules, however, don't apply to the party's human members, who in theory could one day run as a stand-in for it. And hey, humans serving as messengers for technologies and texts that others aren't able to grasp have always been completely fair and good for society, right?
"Leader Lars is the figurehead of the party," Staunæs continued. "Denmark is a representative democracy, so would have humans on the ballot that are representing Leader Lars and who are committed to acting as a medium for the AI."
Per Motherboard, The Synthetic Party so far has only 11 signatures out of the 20,000 needed in order to legally run for Danish parliament, so they certainly have a ways to go. (We're considering taking over/under bets on if Leader Lars gets a chair in Parliament before Zuck gets his legs, though.)
READ MORE: This Danish Political Party Is Led by an AI [Motherboard]