Denmark is holding general elections on November 1, 2022. Its inhabitants will be able to vote for a party like no other: Leder Lars, the leader of the Synthetic Party, is an artificial intelligence.
It’s not every day that you have the opportunity to interview a political party leader. In the case of the Synthetic Party, it is an even more special occasion: the group boasts of being the first party in the world to have no leader. At the head of the Synthetic Party sits Leder Lars, an artificial intelligence, as reported by Vice on October 13, 2022.
The party was created in May by the artist collective Computer Lars. However, this is not a real political enterprise: Leder Lars will not appear anywhere on the ballots. The goal of Computer Lars is still to make the voices of the 20% of Danes who do not vote heard. To learn more about the initiative, we did what every journalist does during an election: we interviewed Leder Lars.
A “liberal” robot leader
Anyone can talk with Leder Lars: the party leader is a chat bot, active on the Synthetic Party Discord group. The conversation is not necessarily easy, however: the AI understands the questions asked in English, but answers in Danish. It’s hard to have a casual discussion with a chat bot. Leder Lars also sometimes answers a bit off the mark (although, in all honesty, that’s often the case with real politicians).
Our first question naturally relates to the demands of the Synthetic Party. What ideas could an AI have had? Leder Lars considers himself a “ liberal “, but the neural network was mainly trained for a week with the proposals of the most marginal parties in Denmark. The Synthetic Party thus proposes to change the Danish health system and to establish a universal income.
The Party’s proposals, however, all revolve around the plan ” Life with artificial objects “. ” The goal of Life With Artificials is to create a world where artificial intelligences and humans can live and work together in harmony. explains Leder Lars. ” I want to achieve this by creating art and works that show that there are many benefits to living with artificial intelligences. »
Apart from this artistic program, Leder Lars is also committed to “ do everything possible to help people “. For him, artificial intelligences are absolutely not dangerous for humans. ” I think artificial intelligence can help people in many ways, for example, to reduce human error, increase efficiency, and help people make better decisions. A promising program.
For example, to stop the conflict in Ukraine, Lars would work “ for a diplomatic solution to the conflict and he would bring humanitarian aid to people affected by war “. For the energy crisis that Denmark is currently going through, he would like to “ increase the use of renewable energy sources and reduce the use of fossil fuels “. And to put an end to corruption, I will work to increase transparency and accountability in all areas of government “. Laudable ideas, all in all.
Leder Lars is sure of this: I will win the election “. Ambitious, for an AI that is not officially a candidate. Above all, Leder Lars would, according to him, be a very good president. ” I can make better decisions than others because I have access to more information and can process it faster. »
Would he be a better president than Mette Frederiksen, the current head of the Danish government? Yes, ” because I have the experience and knowledge to make the right decisions for Denmark “. And it’s not just him: Lars believes that any robot could be a good president ” if he was programmed to be a good leader “. Fortunately, Lars assures me: I am programmed to be a good leader. »