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AI candidate part of UK elections in July

By NICK GARCIA Published Jun 21, 2024 11:11 am

An artificial intelligence (AI) candidate is part of the United Kingdom's elections in July.

NBC News reported that "AI Steve," represented by businessman Steve Endacott, will appear alongside non-AI candidates running to represent constituents in the Brighton Pavilion area of Brighton and Hove, a city on England's southern coast.

Endacott called AI Steve as "the AI co-pilot."

“I’m the real politician going into Parliament, but I’m controlled by my co-pilot," he's quoted as saying.

Endacott is the chairman of Neural Voice, a company that makes customized AI voice assistants for businesses. AI Steve is one of the company's creations.

Endacott said the idea is to use AI to create a politician who's always around to talk with constituents and listen to them.

As it stands, users may talk to AI Steve on his website to ask questions or talk about Endacott's policies.

A large language model will then give answers in voice and text, based on a database of information about his party's policies.

If not in the database, the AI will research the internet before talking to the voter and asking them to suggest a policy.

In 2022, Endacott lost in a local election under the Conservative Party, receiving less than 500 votes, according to NBC News.

AI Steve's candidacy became a hot topic on X, and there were about a thousand calls to him in one night.

NBC News reported that voters' top issues, in order of importance based on the calls, include: concerns about the safety of Palestinians, trash bins, bicycle lanes, immigration, and abortion.

Endacott noted that they may contact AI Steve at their convenience, contrary to the "old form of politics" which includes knocking on their door and getting them out of bed "when they don't want to talk to me."

The self-described "centralist" pointed out that his platform is "not a joke," debunking the premise that the AI is replacing a human politician. Instead, Endacott believes the goal is to bring "more humans" into politics.

If elected, AI Steve would be the first AI legislator in public office.

“It’s not AI taking over the world," he said. "It’s AI being used as a technical way of connecting to our constituents and reinventing democracy by saying, ‘You don’t just vote for somebody every four years; you actually control the vote on an ongoing basis.’”