The party hopes to have a parliament seat in Denmark soon, and so far, it has already managed to arouse everyone’s interest.
The art collective Computer Lars and the non-profit art-technology organization MindFuture Foundation founded the Synthetic Party in May, claiming that this innovative political group embodies the values of 20% of the country’s population.
Asker Staunæs, one of the party’s founders, said the chatbot is programmed based on the policies of Denmark’s fringe parties after 1970.
“We’re representing the data of all fringe parties, so it’s all of the parties who are trying to get elected into parliament but don’t have a seat. So it’s a person who has formed a political vision of their own that they would like to realize, but they usually don’t have the money or resources to do so,” Staunæs underlined. “As people from Denmark, and also, people around the globe are interacting with the AI, they submit new perspectives and new textual information, which we collect in a dataset that will go into the fine-tuning. So that way, you are partly developing the AI every time you interact with it”.
Discuss with the leader on… Discord!
This AI chatbot, the leader of the Synthetic Party, is called “Leader Lars”, and citizens can chat with it on Discord. To discuss with “Leader Lars” and ask questions, citizens should start their sentence with the sign “!”, and that is the signal recognized by the AI chatbot to respond.
The chatbot understands English but only responds in Danish. Its name won’t appear on the ballots because the law doesn’t yet allow it, but that doesn’t worry party supporters.
Although Leader Lars is programmed based on Danish fringe party politics of the last 40 years, it also collects data by talking to people on Discord and is constantly evolving.
Among other things, the Synthetic Party wants to establish a universal basic income of 100,000 Danish kroner per month ($13,700) and to create a jointly-owned internet and IT sector in the government that is on par with other public institutions.
A movement toward the future
For the Synthetic Party to participate in the Danish national elections, it needs 20,000 signatures. At the moment, however, the party has only 11 signatures, and, likely, it will only be able to participate if it increases its popularity.
Such a possibility, however, does not seem to discourage the creators of the party. Staunæs stated that they are already in contact with other organizations worldwide, in countries such as Colombia and Moldova, to create corresponding parties with AI chatbot leaders and the ultimate goal of creating an international organization.
The MindFuture Foundation founded the Synthetic Party and is also behind the non-profit tech organization “Life with Artificials“.
According to its official website, “the association Life with Artificials is a non-profit art and tech organization driven by people who are passionate about investigating new possibilities and dilemmas at the cross-section between humans and technologies by deploying a combination of software, coding, and art. We want to provoke awareness about the dilemmas and risks humanized next-generation technology poses and spur debates about the use and potential of AI. We aim to examine how the use of next-generation algorithms existentially and ethically affects our human lives”.
It is clear that the Synthetic Party is just the first step, and the people behind this innovative and very unique political party movement are visioning a world where Artificial Intelligence plays a significant role in both political party and social issues. It remains to be seen whether their vision will find supporters and how quickly a futuristic scenario in which an AI chatbot will speak inside a parliament becomes a reality.