Can we have a AI-lead technocratic society and remove voting?


Is voting needed? Can AI just look at all history and understand the needs of society? Humans do not have a strong record when choosing their leaders.

Such as Hitler was voted when he promised prosperity and special status to his idea of "perfect race" but ultimately became the most hated person in history.

Or like Mandela who asked for equal right but unfavorable history of ANC. There are millions of examples, what I am wondering is if we need to vote or can AI would make those decisions because they have access to all of human history to learn from, our mistakes and successes.

History can provide has many outcomes where under many different starting conditions people had voted for their leaders and what turned out. The biggest fault with any leader has always been, the extreme they go to with their ideas and most of the times lead to loss of life but AI's wont suffer from this ideological bias.

Based on today's technology can we have a technocracy society and remove voting?


Posted 2019-12-05T11:11:20.393

Reputation: 546

Question was closed 2019-12-05T15:15:11.977


Potentially very interesting question, but I'm going to wait to see if it stays open before writing an answering essay. In the meantime you might want to read and related discussion of the "cybernetic society"

– pjc50 – 2019-12-05T11:25:06.100

@pjc50 The hold was removed, I would be very interested to hear your thoughts! – Slartibartfast – 2019-12-05T11:46:24.600

1Questions about future events are explicitly off-topic. You could try to make it on-topic in [], by asking questions like "Why would people oppose (or support) an AI-lead technocracy?" (be sure to check their FAQ for more hints on making that on-topic). – SJuan76 – 2019-12-05T11:46:46.040

Comments deleted. Please don't use comments to answer the question. – Philipp – 2019-12-06T13:20:39.877

1This questions seems to be very speculative and much too broad. Satisfactory answers may fill volumes. Narrowing it down might be a good idea. – Trilarion – 2019-12-09T10:03:34.493



What AI are you talking about?

If you talk about a "true" GAI (General Artificial intelligence) that reaches human level intelligence/independence and potentially consciousness, then it will have the same issues as a human - it will have its world model, aims to achieve etc and may adapt based on new experiences and thus change and make "historical mistakes" as any human.

If you talk about the current level of trainable special purpose AI, the only thing these can do is "learn" to solve a given task. You need to still provide it with training data, i.e. tell it what is a good and what is a bad outcome. You, a human, need to define its goals. And all it will do is try to optimize for those goals. It will be incredibly hard if not impossible on top to "attach" that AI at the top of government in such a way that it can in detail govern without human middle men that might interpret the AI's decisions in their own way. Another possibly unresolvable difficulty is to make the decisions all-encompassing. It's not one categorisation task as output, it's a lot of policies, decisions and laws as output - in a way that they are understandable by humans. Without too high of an error rate.

On top, current AI does typically behave well for the area it is well trained for, but often can have unexpected totally non-optimal behaviour on corner cases or totally new input. Would we be happy with an AI that could trigger a nuclear war out of a sudden because someone calls it a covfefe?

All that only focusses on practical aspects and leaves aside the social components: For instance, democracy does not only serve as a (potentially suboptimal) way to make nationwide decisions, it is also about satisfying everyone's need for self-determination / participation etc. Monarchy on the other hand has a soap entertainment factor on the social level. A cold AI has neither. A human-like AI might perhaps have the soap factor as well, but would also have the same drawbacks.

Frank Hopkins

Posted 2019-12-05T11:11:20.393

Reputation: 1 038


Artificial neural networks are becomming great at solving optimization problems. Giving a large training set of data and variables which can affect that set of data, neuronal networks can easily be trained to learn how to set those variables in order to optimize for a certain goal.

But the question is: What goal do you want to optimize for?

Ideally you would want it to optimize for "happiness", but how do you quantify that? In order to train a neural network, you need some way to rate the outcome based on some measureable metric.

So what metric do you tell the network to use? Average income? Median income? Lowest income? Unemployment rate? State deficit? Tax income? Population growth? Live expectancy? Low working hours? Low crime rate? Military strength? Social mobility? A combination of all? What counts how much? And how about abstract concepts like "personal liberty" or "life fulfillment"? How do you convert those to a numerical value?

What actually does it mean to be happy? Do humans even know what it means to be happy? Different people have different ideas of what's best to achieve maximum happiness. The arguments between these people is what we call politics.

Even if we use more AI in government, we will still need humans to decide the goals for the AI.


Posted 2019-12-05T11:11:20.393

Reputation: 55 858

When we vote for a "dear leader" he makes fake promises and based on what we understand is the "cost" we vote for him. Most leaders do not talk about the cost such as what would be the cost of tax cut or increasing the minimum wage. AI could give everyone all the answers to what it is proposing and what are the "cost" which would be "personalized" to their individual situation. That is what i am trying to understand if AI would create a more aware population about the policy as such we dont vote anymore we just give what as a society we want and understand the cost of getting it. – Slartibartfast – 2019-12-05T11:59:30.863

5AI could give everyone all the answers to what it is proposing and what are the "cost" which would be "personalized" to their individual situation. No. Society is a chaotic system; and future predictions are broad estimates at the very best. There is no algorithm for predicting the future with certainty. – SJuan76 – 2019-12-05T12:27:16.707

1Plus, you don't need an AI leader for that. If that technology were available it could be used to portray the cost voting for any candidate would incur. – Frank Hopkins – 2019-12-05T14:37:55.410

@SJuan76 I am not saying predicting future, leaders dont know the future either but leaders are bound by ideology, party, human condition, upbringing which adds a lot of baggage to the reasoning and leads to chaos. A algo does not care about ego, just that the loss of life is minimized and similar parameters. What those parameters are is up to the society to choose against what it wants to achive! Instead of electing the next hitler who promises employment but for Aryan we can have a model to think of all possible scenarios. AI model cannot be appeased or insulted, like humans can! – Slartibartfast – 2019-12-05T15:55:55.517

@newcoder OK. You ask an AI for long term prosperity of human race, it does not share our taboos. The utilitarian answer includes among other, uncontroversial ideas also speedy executions of criminals with poor rehabilitation predictions and eugenics. Then what? – Shadow1024 – 2019-12-05T16:47:35.767

@newcoder Aside from practial implementation issues roughly pointed out above, with this: >"What those parameters are is up to the society to choose against what it wants to achive!" you're back at society making decisions and thus back at voting in a democratic society. – Frank Hopkins – 2019-12-05T18:09:37.070

@FrankHopkins When we chose a leader they always over promise and deliver even less. But could AI be a generational solution? No more voting until completion of objective. Like leaders AI could course correct midway if there is a better solution but leaders dont do course correction. There are egos. So as a society we do chose for a model which could give a customized solution to every individual at the same time keep an eye on mission objective which could be generational. – Slartibartfast – 2019-12-05T18:34:16.480

@newcoder a) there is no model precise enough to be able to govern a whole country AND understandable enough everyone can properly vote on it b) you don't need an AI ruler if you just care about the model c) you do need public support for the AI dictator or absolute power in the hands of the AI - the latter is not possible with current tech and unlikely in the foreseeable future, while public support means you have humans and opinion involved and that can change on an emotional basis. – Frank Hopkins – 2019-12-05T18:40:04.027

@Shadow1024 If that was you objective you have met completion but if your objectives were bigger such colonizing planets it would require "more". The question is what is it we as human race really want? And how fast we want to get there and at what "cost". Electing democratically someone will still have "cost" but with AI those costs would become clear immediately. Like google maps for civilization - finding the fastest route to point B to avoide traffic, accident, road work and so on but on a bigger scale. – Slartibartfast – 2019-12-05T18:40:32.103

@newcoder this turns more into a forum discussion now than a question, so I'm out, but you might want to split this down into more concrete and focused questions - first about what AI tech is available and then on different social / political aspects various versions might have to face when used in a political framing. Philosophically also the question whether the world is deterministic or not plays into this. – Frank Hopkins – 2019-12-05T18:41:29.780

@newcoder If aims are bigger, then proportionally more draconian moves are necessary to free up necessary resources that would be channelled for colonisation of nearby planets. I'm guessing something like war economy with grand construction of new industries, rationing of consumption goods, extra taxes, (draft?), etc. – Shadow1024 – 2019-12-05T19:37:16.880