Artificial active

The new European political party is led by an artificial intelligence

Introducing: The Synthetic Party, a new political party in Denmark that hopes to soon have a seat in parliament. Oh, and by the way, its big boss, Leader Lars, is actually an AI chatbot, and all of its policies are derived from AI. Cool?

Asker Staunæs, the party’s creator and artist-researcher at arts and tech nonprofit MindFuture, said Motherboard that leader Lars is specifically trained in the politics formed by Danish fringe parties after 1970 – and so, he says, the party is designed to collectively represent the roughly 20% of current Danish voters whose parties are still not represented in parliament.

“We represent data from all fringe parties, so it’s all parties that try to get elected to parliament but don’t have a seat,” Staunæs told the site. “So it’s a person who has formed their own political vision that they would like to achieve, but they usually don’t have the money or the resources to do it.”

Leader Lars is, in a way, an inherent populist, because his “politics” – which, according to Motherboard include universal basic income and “the jointly owned government Internet and IT sector” – are fully outsourced from existing data and human creations. But that being said, Staunæs does not necessarily believe that leader Lars is perfectly democratic.

Artificial intelligence in the form of machine learning has already absorbed so much human input that we can say that in some way everyone is participating in these patterns through the data they have submitted to the internet” , said Staunæs. Motherboard. “But the systems as we have them today do not encourage more active participation, where people actually take control of their data and images, which we can do in other ways through this concentrated form that ‘offer publicly available machine learning models.

Importantly, because Leader Lars is actually a machine, he is not allowed to run for public office himself. The same rules, however, do not apply to human party members, who in theory could one day run as replacements. And hey, humans serving as messengers for technologies and texts that others aren’t able to grasp have always been quite righteous and good to society, right?

“Chief Lars is the figurehead of the party,” Staunæs continued. “Denmark is a representative democracy, so there would be humans on the ballot who represent leader Lars who have pledged to act as a medium for the AI.”

By Motherboard, The synthetic party has so far only 11 signatures out of the 20,000 needed to run legally for the Danish parliament, so they certainly have some way to go. (We’re considering taking over/under bets if Chief Lars gets a chair in Parliament before Zuck gets his legs, though.)

READ MORE: This Danish political party is led by an AI [Motherboard]