The Synthetic Party is a Danish AI political party led by an AI chatbot named Leader Lars.
How does an AI political party work?
Denmark’s political landscape is making an intriguing pivot towards artificial intelligence. Leader Lars was brought to life by artist collective Computer Lars and the non-profit art and tech organization MindFuture Foundation. Is this a new era in political representation?
The Synthetic Party, established in May 2022, aspires to represent the values of the 20% of Danes who do not vote. This AI chatbot is not just a figurehead. It’s equipped with policies drawn from Danish fringe parties since 1970. And its human members are committed to executing these AI-derived platforms.
Why involve an AI in politics?
The Synthetic Party seeks to represent data from all fringe parties striving for a parliamentary seat. It’s a novel concept that allows individual political visions, usually limited by financial and logistical constraints, to gain representation. The unique aspect of this political approach is the interaction between citizens and Leader Lars on Discord, a platform where people can speak directly to the AI. This feature fosters a unique form of democratic engagement.
The party’s AI-led political approach raises questions about the viability and accountability of machine learning in government. For instance, can an AI truly grasp and represent human needs and values? How do we hold an AI accountable for its decisions? The Synthetic Party’s response to these questions lies in the transparency and auditability of AI decision-making processes.
The Synthetic Party’s policies are bold, to say the least. From establishing a universal basic income of 100,000 Danish kroner per month (equivalent to $13,700, and over double the Danish average salary) to creating a jointly-owned internet and IT sector within the government, the party seeks to innovate and challenge the status quo.
Crucially, the Synthetic Party is not about putting a chatbot in charge. Instead, it’s about exploring the democratic potential of AI and machine learning. The party sees AI as a tool to amplify and understand a wide range of opinions, even if those opinions sometimes contradict each other.
In addition to offering fresh political perspectives, the Synthetic Party aims to raise awareness about the role of AI in our lives and the importance of AI accountability. For example, it advocates for the addition of an 18th Sustainable Development Goal. This would focus on the relationship between humans and AI to the United Nations’ SDGs.
The Synthetic Party seeks to promote a more democratic, accountable, and transparent use of AI in politics. The party needs 20,000 signatures to run in the 2023 November general election. If it gets those, it could introduce a novel form of political representation in Denmark. It would be one that goes beyond a simple figurehead and instead uses AI as a tool for political change.