This Danish Political Party Is Led By An AI

Artificial intelligence is making an impact in the realms of art, writing, and, now, politics.

According to Vice, a new AI-driven political party in Europe is striving for parliamentary participation. It is on a mission to raise awareness about the role artificial intelligence plays in people’s lives.

The political party is known as The Synthetic Party and aims to run in Denmark’s national election in November. It needs more than 20,000 signatures to participate in the poll but had only four as of May, according to AFP.

The artist collective Computer Lars and the non-profit art and technology organization MindFuture Foundation established the party in May. The public face and figurehead of the Synthetic Party is the AI chatbot Leader Lars, who has been programmed on the policies of Danish fringe parties since 1970 and is designed to represent the values of the 20% of Danes who do not vote in elections.

Leader Lars will not appear on any ballots, but The Synthetic Party’s human members are dedicated to carrying out their AI-derived platform.

“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,” Asker Staunæs, the creator of the party and an artist-researcher at MindFuture.

“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.” Staunæs said.

The Synthetic Party’s goals include implementing a monthly universal basic income of 100,000 Danish kroner, which is equivalent to $13,700 and more than double the Danish minimum wage. Another proposed policy change is to create a government-owned internet and information technology industry on par with other public organizations.

Furthermore, the objective of the Synthetic Party is to raise more awareness about the role of AI in our lives and how governments can hold AI accountable for biases and other societal impacts.

The party seeks to add an 18th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) to the United Nations SDGs, which targets all nations to attain by 2030 on issues such as poverty, inequality, and climate change. The proposed SDG by the Synthetic Party is named Life With Artificials. It focuses on the relationship between humans and AI and how to adapt and educate people to work with machines.

“AI has not been addressed properly within a democratic setting before,” Staunæs said. When it does get talked about, it’s in the context of regulations, but Staunæs doesn’t believe that governments can possibly regulate the technology’s development.

“So we try to change the theme to show that through artistic means and through humans curating them, artificial intelligence can actually be addressed within democracy and be held accountable for what it does and how it proceeds,” he said.

So far, The Synthetic Party has only 11 signatures out of the 20,000 required to run in the November election. Stauns stated that if the party were to enter parliament, AI would power policies and agendas, with humans acting as interpreters of the program.

“Leader Lars is the figurehead of the party. Denmark is a representative democracy, so would have humans on the ballot that are representing Leader Lars and who are committed to acting as a medium for the AI,” he said.

“People who are voting for The Synthetic Party will have to believe what we are selling ourselves as, people who actually engage so much with artificial intelligence that we can interpret something valuable from them,” Staunæs said.

“We are in conversations with people from around the world, Colombia, France, and Moldova, about creating other local versions of The Synthetic Party so that we could have some form of Synthetic International.”

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