AI-generated politician running for UK Parliament

A Sussex businessman named Steve Endacott has created an AI avatar of himself that is currently running for Parliament in Brighton Pavilion in the UK. "AI Steve," as the AI is affectionately known, previously ran in a local election on the Conservative and Unionist Party ballot, garnering just under 500 votes — which, if my understanding of UK parliamentary procedures is correct, means he's somehow now allowed to profit off of the swords that are being handed out for free by strange women lying in lakes. (If I'm wrong, please let me know by assuming the worst about me and sending me cruel and condescending messages about my mistake.)

If elected, AI Steve will be represented for in-person Parliamentary proceedings by the flesh-and-blood version of Steve Endacott — though Endacott insists that it is AI Steve who will be making all the decisions.

From NBC News:

"AI Steve is the AI co-pilot," Endacott said in an interview. "I'm the real politician going into Parliament, but I'm controlled by my co-pilot."

Endacott is the chairman of Neural Voice, a company that creates personalized voice assistants for businesses in the form of an AI avatar. Neural Voice's technology is behind AI Steve, one of the seven characters the company created to showcase its technology.

He said the idea is to use AI to create a politician who is always around to talk with constituents and who can take their views into consideration.

People can ask AI Steve questions or share their opinions on Endacott's policies on its website, during which a large language model will give answers in voice and text based on a database of information about his party's policies.

If he doesn't have a policy for a particular issue raised, the AI will conduct some internet research before engaging the voter and pushing them to suggest a policy.

AI Steve illuminated more details about their platform in an interview with The Independent:

AI Steve wants to introduce a four-day week by 2030 as AI destroys more jobs. He also wants to increase prison capacity, scrap London's ULEZ low emission charge, increase national insurance and put transmitters on garbage trucks to check they are carrying out their routes to sort out overflowing bins in the seaside town.

The AI software records all questions from the public and policies will be expanded via a cohort of voluntary local creators who will chat with AI Steve and propose policies for adoption.

Policies are then voted on by voluntary validators from the local area, who score them from 1 to 10 on a weekly email. Only policies scoring more than 50 per cent are adopted.

I'm tempted to say "This sounds like a Black Mirror episode," but then I remembered that the very first episode of that show involved a pig-fucking politician, which already came true. So hey: maybe it's a consolation that AI Steve can't actually fuck a pig?

Meet AI Steve: The bot-driven politician using artificial intelligence on the campaign trail [Barney Davis / The Independent]

AI candidate running for Parliament in the U.K. says AI can humanize politics [Angela Yang and Daniele Hamamdjian / NBC News]