Robots have been taking over human jobs for quite some time now but I am sure nobody expected the robots or artificial intelligence to take over positions of authority anytime soon. An AI running for mayor of a Tokyo district is a clear proof that we were wrong.
AI can’t legally run for high-ranking public administration positions yet. However, one candidate form Tama City, Tokyo is looking to maximize the use of AI in running municipal affairs and is running his campaign as an AI Mayor. He is basically proposing to replace human public officials with AI and having them collect city data and create fair and balanced policies to benefit everyone.
“For the first time in the world, AI will run in an election,” human candidate Michihito Matsuda announced on Twitter. “Artificial intelligence will change Tama City. With the birth of an AI-Mayor, we will conduct impartial and balanced politics. We will implement policies for the future with speed, accumulate information and know-how, and lead the next generation.”
44-year old Matsuda rain for Mayor in 2014 but lost by a large margin. This time, he merely acts as an avatar for the AI. He believes that the AI mayor can make better decisions than any human can ever hope to. He also says that AI is much less susceptible to corruption.
The AI mayor has a campaign similar to human competitors. There are posters showing a futuristic android and campaign messages have been plastered all over the city asking for support. Some people are calling this a stunt saying that a human will be the one legally in charge while others are excited about the prospect of AI running things in the background.
If Matsuda happens to win and the AI mayor is a success, we might see other cities following this example. We will have to wait and see how things pan out.