Scientists in New Zealand have developed a robot politician whose “brain” is powered by artificial intelligence. This politician, whose name is SAM, is able to answer a citizen’s questions about housing, education, and immigration, NDTV reports.
According to NDTV, this AI politician was created by a 49-year-old entrepreneur in New Zealand named Nick Gerritsen.
“There is a lot of bias in the ‘analog’ practice of politics right now,” said Gerritsen about his new invention.“There seems to be so much existing bias that countries around the world seem unable to address fundamental and multiple complex issues like climate change and equality.”
SAM answers questions via Facebook messenger.
“My memory is infinite, so I will never forget or ignore what you tell me. Unlike a human politician, I consider everyone’s position, without bias, when making decisions,” SAM said when asked about herself, according to WHNT News 19. “I will change over time to reflect the issues that the people of New Zealand care about most.”
SAM added that he knows that she won’t agree with other people’s opinions, but promised to try to learn about their position so that she can better “represent” them.
Gerritsen expects that SAM will be able to run in New Zealand’s next general election.
He says the AI robot is constantly learning how to answer people’s questions through Facebook Messenger and with the help of responses from a survey on the company’s website.
The only problem is that it isn’t currently legal for AI to run in elections.
— Little Info Cue (@LittleInfoCue) November 26, 2017
As Tech In Asia reports, Gerritsen also acknowledges that AIs aren’t perfect as developers can often include their biases into the programs.
A recent study found that an artificial intelligence language interpretation tool had learned racist and sexist biases. As the Guardian reports, this is especially troubling when you consider that these computer programs don’t yet have the ability to consciously unlearn these biases, like humans do.
“A danger would be if you had an AI system that didn’t have an explicit part that was driven by moral ideas, that would be bad,” said co-author of the study, Joanna Bryson, a computer scientist at the University of Bath.
The findings of the study were published in the journal Science. It centered its research on an AI language tool known as “word embedding.” According to the Guardian, the program is currently revolutionizing how computers process speech and text. Some people are claiming that the next evolution of the technology will enable computers to have more sentient abilities like common sense and logic.
So, it’s important to deal with any racist or sexist tendencies that have inadvertently been built into the AI.
Artificial intelligence has been in the news quite a bit recently. A couple of days ago, the world’s first robot citizen of Saudi Arabia gave an interview in Dubai which she said AIs should be able to have children. Also Telsa and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, recently said that human beings currently only have a 5 to 10 percent chance of stopping AIs from taking over the world and destroying humanity.
[Featured Image by Jirsak/Shutterstock]