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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Can Artificial Intelligence take over the government of a country?

Listen to Cristian Carlos' voice note.

By Cristian Carlos, special for P360P

As with any question that requires a moral answer, it is difficult to give a concrete answer; so we will address the pros and cons about AI - Artificial Intelligence - to run a government because, getting ahead of myself a bit, ultimately, it does depend on the specific circumstances of the country in question.

What is artificial intelligence?

In the first instance, artificial intelligence is a branch of computer science that deals with the simulation of human intelligence processes in computers, more specifically, computer systems. It is a broad term that covers any technique where one or more computers are programmed to behave in an intelligent manner that is expected to be as intelligent or more intelligent than any human being.

The most common type of AI is machine learning, which involves algorithms - created by humans - that can learn from data and make predictions based on patterns found in that same data.

It's hard to predict how useful AI will be in the future, but we can certainly say that it will be very useful. It won't replace humans, but it will help them with their tasks and make them more efficient at what they do - or so we hope; either way, there are fatalistic probabilities. What if artificial intelligence decides that humans are no longer capable of making good decisions - or any decisions at all - and what if artificial intelligence decides that humans are surplus to requirements on Earth?

Although, someday it will also realize that it needs humans - or just a few of them - to restore itself in the event of an unreachable failure of any computer system.

On the positive side, AI could make government more efficient and effective depending on the resources it can draw from; for example, AI could be used to process data faster and more accurately than humans, identify patterns and trends, and make predictions about future events in the societal arena.

AI could also help automate routine tasks, freeing up public employees to focus on more important - or simple - tasks. Sound familiar? "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.»by Adam Smith; or «The divisionsocial work» of the father of Sociology, Émile Durkheim?

It would have been too much to ask of either of them to have predicted the possibility of making use of the invention of a computer system with its own intelligence for the production and use of a nation's goods; that is, if we add to it the thought that AI could help reduce human biases and errors that harm society.

If governments were employing AI in our society, would we notice?

It is unclear to what extent humans can discern AI intervention when it is put into practice. It is possible that we humans are better at detecting AI intervention than we think we are. That depends, to take just one example, on what your expectations of machine-generated content are.

So far, we can account for the fact that artificial intelligence has been being used in very personal things; for example, Apple states that it makes use of artificial intelligence through the introduction of its ?Neural Engine? technology in 2017, where the iPhone began using it to improve the conditions of phone operation, such as facial detection in photographs and how a person's appearance changes when their biometric authentication systems are employed.

On a personal note, I suppose it's very likely that, as seamless as Apple Music's recommendations are - another interesting topic for another day - as imperceptible or ?seamless? could be government interventions.

On the negative side, there is a risk that AI could be used to manipulate or unfairly control its citizens. For example, if a government uses AI to track people's movements and activities, it could use this information to suppress dissent or target people for harassment or other forms of abuse - as in the anime series ?Psycho-Pass?. There, AI is used to create "filter bubbles" that prevent people from being exposed to information that challenges their beliefs.

Overall, whether AI can successfully run a government is an open question. There are potential benefits and risks to using AI in government, and it remains to be seen how these factors will play out in practice. Although AI is becoming more advanced, there are still many limitations to what it can do. How many times has Siri - Alexa or Google Voice - responded with something else very different from what we said just because it couldn't hear our words properly?

It is known that AI is not yet advanced enough to run a government on its own, although the film ?Eagle Eye? of 2008, stated that the U.S. Department of Defense - in charge of national security and the Armed Forces - has a secret project regarding the use of computational systems to create a new form of government: Algocracy - the government of algorithms.

Some believe that complex decision-making processes in the governance of a country should be carried out by humans, though? has that served us well in the face of global warming and climate change? Moreover, AI is not yet capable of reproducing the full range of human emotions, so it would not be able to effectively deal with the many challenges of governing a country.

What if we give it a try?

Yes, AI could run the government of a country, but it would probably be a very different government than the current one. AI would probably be much more efficient and effective at governing than humans, but it would also probably be very different in its approach; to give an example, AI might not care about democratic or civil rights processes, and focus solely on efficiency and effectiveness. This could result in a very different government than the one we are used to; even so, it could be incredibly successful.

We should give it a try. The question, now, is: "Which country should we start with? I am not asking on the grounds of knowing which country would be the first to implement AI for its citizens - it would be very naïve to think that AI is not yet in place in any government - but rather, since when and which country started using AI for its citizens and how integrated it might be in its society? I already warn you that, in developing countries, this is not the case.

Although there is hope for the latter because, there are postulates that indicate that, after reaching a high degree of efficiency in a country - i.e., self-sufficient - it could relieve less fortunate nations of their resources; however, because of human misery, AI is likely to be denied such thought or action.

Personally, I hope that if AI is in place in some government, it will succeed, because that alone would prove that it is intelligent enough to outwit the bad decisions of humans.

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