Tech | May 23, 2017 5:00 am

Campaign to Elect an A.I. President in the United States

'Wired' makes case that machine learning would put a computer ahead of human politicians.

Could we be on our way to electing an AI as president, or automating the way American politics are carried out? Wired is campaigning hard for a “yes” vote, with the magazine arguing that decision-making is best left to a rational computer.

Writer Joshua Davis points to studies showing that AIs are better than board-certified doctors at diagnosing medical conditions like melanomas. Wired also references experts in machine learning who say that the science is advancing quickly enough that algorithms (already modeled on the human brain’s neural networks) will be able to develop and implement core beliefs that guide moral choices.

Granted, this prediction wouldn’t have to take the form of a literal robot president. “Voters could choose between a Democrat or a Republican AI … that promised to enact the party’s platform,” Davis muses,  “or voters could simply vote on a laundry list of issues, and an AI that reflected the popular will on each point would be built.”

Of course, a governing AI carries its own unique risks—namely the presidency getting hacked—but as machine learning gets more sophisticated (and human politics more odious), it’s an idea we’ll be hearing about more and more in due time.