AI Steve

British voters will get the chance to elect what’s being billed as the world’s first AI lawmaker in the July 4 general election.

Businessman Steve Endacott, 59, is standing for election, but unlike other candidates, he has campaign leaflets showing not his face but an AI-generated avatar.

“AI Steve” will appear on the ballot in the Brighton Pavilion constituency of Brighton and Hove, a city on England’s southern coast.

Endacott, whose Neural Voice company powers his AI alter ego, said his frustration with “standard politics” made him decide to run as an independent. Earlier, he unsuccessfully ran as a  Conservative candidate in a local election.

‘AI Steve my co-pilot’

“AI Steve is the AI co-pilot,” Endacott said . “I’m the real politician going into Parliament, but I’m controlled by my co-pilot.”

The Election Commission, the poll watchdog, agrees Endacott — and not the AI avatar — will be the member of parliament if elected.

Endacott, who set up the AI Steve website to connect with voters, said, “I will try to use technology to connect directly with the views of my constituents”.

“You don’t have to know anything about AI, as all you do is press a button to talk to the character,” he added.

“AI Steve” engages in real-time with locals on topics ranging from LGBTQ rights to housing and immigration.

Large language model

People can ask questions or share their opinions on Endacott’s policies on the AI Steve website. A large language model will give them answers in voice and text based on a database of information about his policies.

If he doesn’t have a policy on a particular issue, the AI will ask the voter to suggest one.

Steve AI says only policies with more than 50 per cent support will be adopted.

Endacott noted that, with AI, he could reach out to thousands of people a day.

“I don’t have to go knock on their door, get them out of bed when they don’t want to talk to me,” he said.

Endacott describes himself as a “centralist” with views closest to the Green Party.

AI Steve would be the first AI legislator if elected. But others are also tapping artificial intelligence in politics.  A mayoral candidate in Cheyenne, Wyoming, says he will use an AI bot to make decisions.  What’s more, a political party was founded in Denmark on an AI-based platform two years ago.

However, AI can’t replace human politicians, says Endacott.

“It’s not AI taking over the world,” he said. “It’s AI being used as a technical way of connecting to our constituents and reinventing democracy by saying, ‘You don’t just vote for somebody every four years; you actually control the vote on an ongoing basis’. Which is very, very radical in the U.K. Probably even more radical in America.”

NBC, Reuters, Euronews

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