Asker Bryld Staunæs is an artist-researcher at MindFuture ApS. He is a member of the Centre for Aesthetics of AI Images at Aarhus University, and is a curator for the exhibition space Spanien19C. Asker graduated in philosophy, literature and gender studies from Aarhus University, Copenhagen Business School and Universiteit Utrecht, and his current practice connects the art institution with greater industrial apparatuses – e.g., academia, politics, publishing, IT, urban planners, etc.
“Computer Lars” is an anagram of the French author “Marcel Proust”. The anagram describes the turn of artistic genius into computable commoning, as “Lars” is the most regular name in Denmark – similar to e.g. John. The name “Computer Lars” is being by an extradisciplinary collective of artists and researchers based in Denmark to work in the intersection of art, politics, and technology.
MINDFUTURE – AI / AM
The purpose of AI/AM technology is to save the planet and life on it for future generations to exist.
In 2015, members of the United Nations formulated 17 Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by all nations by 2030. These are ambitious aspirations and necessary actions for all humanity to have a future.They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice.
The “MindFuture” Foundation has introduced the 18th Sustainable Development Goal, “Life with artificials”, to ensure the safe, ethical and sustainable integration of artificials in human life and society. To achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, it is crucial that we use these next-generation technologies. AI technology has to be recognized as a new paradigm that changes human conditions.
For the “MindFuture” Foundation, it is necessary to provide a shared global Code of Conduct for the development of AI software and algorithms to be used in “Artificial” and that before implementing any self-learning system, the moral implications must be considered.
The purpose of AI/AM technology is to save the planet and life on it, so that humanity will have an intact and sustainable environment for future generations to exist. As artificials are likely to become more intelligent than humans, all knowledge must be shared so that humans learn faster and stay in control of future technological developments.
Artificial intelligence (AI) can be defined as the simulation of human intelligence processes carried out by machines, especially through computer systems. In this way, AI can perform tasks such as identifying patterns in data more efficiently than humans, allowing organizations of different types to obtain more information about their data.
Both the United Nations, the EU and other international organizations have been working to strengthen an innovative, ethical and secure (AI), under the principles of Human Supervision, Robustness, Privacy and data control, Transparency, Diversity and Responsibility.
A collective of Danish artists called “Computer Lars” has created the first political party run entirely by artificial intelligence (AI). This party, “The Synthetic Party”, promoted by the “MindFuture” Foundation, wants to involve citizens in a collective reflection that helps to better understand the positive implications that an AI directed “towards good” can have on all of us, on ecosystems and on the planet in definitive.
In order to provide more details about this initiative, we have the pleasure of interviewing Asker Bryld Staunæs, who is one of the people in charge of “Computer Lars”, the collective that is leading this initiative.
Analysis of the situation
By 2030, all nations and international organizations must form a shared global code of conduct for the development of AI software and algorithms to be used in Artificial Intelligence, and before implementing any self-learning system, they must consider the moral implications. All nations, companies, developers and researchers are responsible for any type of artificial project whose functionality and reliability guaranteed ethical and transparency standards.
In this context of principles that AI will have to observe in the future, The Synthetic Party was presented in May 2022 by Computer Lars with the intention of standing in the Danish general election for the year 2023. For the first time, a political party will be led by Artificial Intelligence (AI) The Danish “Synthetic” party, as it is called, is leading an innovation in governance systems.
1. Can you tell us how this interesting government initiative has come about?
– The Synthetic Party is a collaboration between “Computer Lars” and “The MindFuture Foundation”. It intended to raise a global debate on “Life with Artificials” as the 18th SDG for the UN. This was an interesting task for the Computer Lars-collective, as it presented a way to inscribe artificial intelligence directly into the democratic system – thereby shifting the focus from “technology regulations” (which is not possible in the setting of national parliaments) to the field of representation: Who does this new voice of large machine learning model represent when it engages in the public sphere?
2. What situation is your party currently in?
– The party is in-between the known and the unknown. Paradoxically, we have had a massive exposure on a global scale, but within a Danish context we are mostly known in the cultural sphere.
3. Do you manage any kind of forecast about the scope of the results in the 2023 general elections?
– Our focus is currently to highlight how artificial intelligence operates within the public sphere. Therefore, it is our objective to actively participate in the campaign to demonstrate how AI is affecting media both on a concrete and symbolic level. As we cannot realistically enter parliament in 2023 already, we are conducting public debates with politicians to simulate this upcoming situation.
As you have stated publicly, the objective of the Synthetic party is “to connect AI and humans to understand what people really think about politics and to go against the dominant political discourse”. Ultimately, his party wants to radically change the process of legitimacy and even the way of understanding our institutions and our democracy.
A whole exciting world, which will surely have an uncertain future and which will require the best of human beings to successfully address this challenge, which, on the other hand, is none other than assigning a series of instructions to algorithms within an ethical framework. and democratic.
4. What is your party trying to achieve from this new “political being” that is emerging in a massive information environment through AI?
– Our AI has been specifically trained on data collected from “fringe party” organisations – that is all the micro-parties that have existed in Denmark since 1970. Therefore, it presents an amalgam of the political visions formulated by common people. We bring a conceptual framework and systematicity for the voices that are not able to participate in the general political discourse by themselves. Therefore, the new “political being” is a comment from the undercommons, or a way of turning the debates of social media into a legitimate position that one can actually adress.
– In the public presentation of their party, they express a clear ambition to contribute to introducing a development objective beyond those currently existing, which are the 17 SDGs. This new SDG No. 18 will deal with the slogan “Life with artificial”, in a clear attempt to use the technologies of this generation, and this necessarily involves educating and adapting people in this technological and social context.
5. Can you briefly comment on the meaning, content and scope of this new sustainable development goal?
– The current Global Goals overlook the presence and role of next-generation technologies in our everyday lives. Both with regards to how advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, and biotechnology can be harvested to achieve the other 17 SDGs, as well as the various dilemmas that arise along with their growing presence. AI-technology has to be recognized as a new paradigm changing the human condition.
– It is also your intention that people can interact directly with the party AI on the “Discord” messaging platform through “chatbots”. For your training, as you have pointed out on occasion at present “there is currently no way to really deal with humans and AI within a democratic environment.” The party claims that if they are elected to power, they would bring AI to the Danish assembly
6. Can you tell us how you want to do this?
– Currently, people from around the globe are engaging our chatbot “Leader Lars” on Discord. This provides us with lots of new data and expérience to develop how a decision-making process can be based on conversations with AI. It is important to note that all interactions with the AI requires human prompting. Therefore, a human representative will be elected to parliament that will then use the AI chatbot to formulate questions of policy.
Strategy / Actions
Now we address the strategy of your party to make it possible to achieve the intended objectives. To do this, I would like to ask you about the most important key strategies and actions that you are going to carry out for this.
7. What will be the strategic framework that your party will adopt to achieve these objectives?
– We continue to work in the intersection of art and politics to provoke awareness and develop a model for political human-machine cooperation.
8. What are the keys to your thinking that identify your political formation?
– Our thinking is developed through an identification of how the concept of “intelligence” – as most forcefully formulated by the French philosopher Hippolyte Taine – cannot be practically distinguished from “stupidity”. This is a point that was strongly made already by authors such as Gustave Flaubert and Marcel Proust. We bring this artistic conception of “intelligence” into the digital age.
In relation to some of the actions that have been publicly pointed out, two of them have caught my attention. The first is his proposal to introduce a universal basic income of 100,000 kronor ($13,700) a month, which is no less than twice the average Danish salary.
9. Can you explain us about this star measure led by your political party?
– The 100.000 kroner in basic income came about by the AI while it was developing its long articles for policy. It is interesting because 1) it acknowledges something that is being discussed more online than in oficial political discourse, and 2) because the sum is so high that its consequences for the general economy are incalculable, which therefore forces one to imagine radically different system objectives for governance.
– The second is related to collective intelligence. In a world where perhaps not enough attention has been paid to this social innovation such as collective consciousness, The Synthetic Party wants to involve citizens, where anyone can interact in a collective reflection. Their motto: “connect AI and humans to understand what people really think about politics and go against the dominant political discourse”.
10.Can you tell us how you intend to integrate the collective consciousness with artificial elements such as are machines?
– Another word for AI is “artificial imagination”. While there are arguably no shorts of qualitative consciousness going on in machine learning systems, it is pertinent to analyse how they express a distributed version of the collective human imagination – that is, a synthesis of our cultural data.
Obstacles / Impediments
A project as innovative as the one that his political party intends to carry out, in a scenario accustomed to not undergoing excessive changes, such as politics, the idea of putting artificial intelligence into practice will surely cause controversy. There will be those who will see more of a danger than a competitive advantage, either because the machines do not have the ability to reason, or because they think that it would only be a complement to traditional political decision-making.
11.How do you think all this can affect the Synthetic party?
– The Synthetic Party thinks that our democratic system has already been changed by artificial intelligence. Our experiences show that the people that are scared about the scope of our project are actually also the ones who are really commited to understanding this new situation. We hope to create awareness and possibilities for participation.
– On the other hand, the technology will depend on how well we are going to use it. But in an environment where technologies play their part in electoral campaigns, where they are often involved in controversy, whether due to the existence of false news, holograms and videos, as well as chatbots especially interested in confusing the electorate, as well as distorting the campaigns and politics in general.
12.How do you think all this could affect your party?
– Our party shows how human curating and creative thinking provides the key to a “good way” for AI in the public sphere
13.How do you plan to tackle these problems that are surely coming in this regard?
– By constantly discussing and evaluating our platform in collaboration with the citizens.
Although there have not been many case studies related to the use of artificial intelligence in electoral processes, it is possible to find some examples carried out by some public administration in this direction. Whether it is the case of “Alisa” created by the Russian company “Yandex” in the Russian elections, or in Japan where one of the candidates had AI as a slogan in his 2018 election campaign where he said “Artificial intelligence will change the city of Tama”, near Tokyo.
But it is one thing to have technology for a political purpose and another thing is for there to be an adequate regulation of it that allows a safe, reliable and transparent environment, in a clear synergy between AI, data and some other technologies such as Blockchain technology.
The combination of AI and “Blockchain” can improve many of the services that governments around the world provide in many of the areas. So, for example, the AI can record the citizenship of those countries, while the “Blockchain” technology could guarantee the reliability of the actions. An example of “Blockchain” technology is “Cortex” which provides a platform (AI) for developers to upload their models to the “Blockchain”, which can be integrated with the “Smart Contract”.
14.Do you trust blockchain technology as a guarantor of this transparency that the AI you want to implement will require?
– There are currently some interesting attempts of using the blockchain for collective decision-making with AI going on in the artistic field: fx. The “Botto” engine initiated by Mario Klingemann and “Abraham” of Gene Kogan. These are still very new, so we keep an eye to their development before making any decision on this point. As blockchain so far has proved not to democratize the economy but to also concentrate power, we need to develop new ways to use it before it can be implemented in a democratic setting.
15.Do you think that this attempt to get closer to power through AI will lead to a domino effect or trend in other parts of Europe and the world?
– We currently are having conversations with citizens in Colombia, France and Moldova that have shown interest in creating a Synthetic Party of their own.
Lastly, I would like to ask you, in an increasingly complex world where the sphere of politics has been made based on ideology and various emotions, the help of technology would not hurt us at all, especially if we think that parties with ideologies Identical proposals propose completely different measures, in a climatic, ecological, energy, economic and security scenario that can be frankly improved. Having a clear orientation based on objective data carried by artificial intelligence would be of great help for decision-making in the development process.
16.Now, how is this done in a polarized context without excessive communication like the one we currently have?
– With the situation of 2022, where we are still learning to navigate in a privatized public sphere that is dominated by Big Tech, we need radical artworks to imagine a more democratic future for our decision-making with new technologies such as AI.