A New Kind of Candidate

Imagine this: A new political candidate who cannot lie, who listens directly to voters, and who always has fresh ideas. The catch? They’re an AI. Once just science fiction – the subject of TV shows like Black Mirror – researchers in New Zealand are developing an artificial intelligence that they hope can (and will) run for elected office. This AI is called the Semantics Analysis Machine, or SAM, and if you’re a New Zealander, she wants to speak with you.

SAM was unveiled last November and has since been talking to voters in order to improve her speech, as well as to better gauge public opinions regarding the issues she would run on. The intention is to create a politician that cannot lie, forget information, and will create a platform through crowdsourcing. Currently SAM’s creators are exploring how (and if) voters will engage with an AI politician, and use their findings to further develop the software. SAM’s developers have announced their desire to field her as a candidate in New Zealand’s 2020 general election.

AIWS was established to consider the intersection between AI technology and public policy. With developments such as SAM, it seems that one day soon we won’t just be making policy for AI – they might be making policy for us.

We are very excited to announce that one of SAM’s co-creators, Walter Langelaar, will be speaking at our 2018 BGF-G7 Summit Conference and, going forward, will work with us to develop standards for AI politicians.