Will a computer algorithm become the head of the government? | Intangible News | technology

Machines, with algorithms making them work, began understanding simple English sentences in the 1960s. Later they learned to translate more complex texts into hundreds of languages, filter our emails and recognize handwritten text. And today they are already able to defeat us in games of strategy and logic, understand what we say and act accordingly, help doctors and beat the best players in Chess or Go.

A bot is a computer program that imitates human behavior, and a chatbot is a bot that simulates a conversation with a person. It can be said that the first has existed for 50 years. The second, chatbots, is popping up everywhere. In journalism, these algorithms are called artificial intelligence. I prefer to call them computer algorithms, because they have a lot of computing in addition to specific artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, which are part of computing.

The most advanced programs are able to understand human speech and maintain a logical, pseudo-intelligent conversation, also in several languages, which also allows for significant advances in machine translation and allows the interpreter to have a glimpse on the horizon. ChatGPT’s capabilities are a good sample of what we’re saying.

But achieving this automatic understanding of information is not easy because the computer program not only has to read or listen to the information, it also has to correlate and interpret it to make sense of it and be able to act or respond accordingly. If someone says Sevilla during a conversation, the computer algorithm must be able to distinguish whether they are referring to the city or the football club, and for this it not only needs the ability to process language, but also needs to be given a lot of information, definitions of concepts, and basic knowledge. To be able to reason and extract the solution from the context, as a person would.

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Computers and algorithms are the future and in many cases already present, and the advances they have made arouse surprise, fear, and usually anxiety. Undoubtedly, the main fear of computer algorithms and their development is their hypothetical ability to make decisions that play against humans. The truth is that unlike the stories some movies tell us, machines and algorithms are unaware of their existence, and they don’t have their own goals and feelings. These are centuries that separate us from our current technological capabilities.

But do algorithms need ethical evidence? UNESCO took the lead. Its 193 members this week adopted a list of recommendations it wants to serve as an ethical guide, a first in the world. This guide can be found here.

One of the recommendations, #26, is comprehensive: “AI systems should not be used for the purposes of social profiling or mass surveillance.” Another council, 36, states that “an AI system can never replace the ultimate responsibility and obligation of humans to provide accounts.” “As a general rule – the text adds – life and death decisions should not be handed over to AI systems.”

But the discussion is deeper

Could there be a political party run by a computer algorithm and its leader a chatbot? It may sound like science fiction or the plot of a dystopian series, but it’s the real truth; This party already exists, and it is part of the election campaign in Denmark. its name artificial partyand is piloted by Leader Lars, a chatbot that any citizen can talk to.

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promoters artificial party They aspire to run in the upcoming electoral competitions in Denmark. That is why they are asking to change the law so that an algorithm can be presented as a candidate in the elections. What they are asking is not a group of people the algorithm has advised to introduce themselves. They want a computer algorithm to run for election and make relevant political decisions based on the interaction it has with voters.

But what is your ideology, progressive, conservative? “Party is synthetic, which literally means it’s a smoothing out of what seems contradictory or disparate,” explains Asker Brailed Stonyce, member of the Computer Lars artist group, MindFuture Technology Center and creator and principal promoter of artificial party.

There are other similar movements in the rest of the world. They call it virtual politicians. Information about these movements and related articles can be found on Wikipedia.

But the question is: do we want a computer algorithm to run in elections? My answer is no. No, for various reasons. The first is that politics is a fundamental human endeavor. It is the activity we use to make global decisions. Politics is conflictual in nature to such an extent that there are conflicting interests in society, and therefore, we are deceived when they advocate a synthetic, neutral policy above interest.

In line with the recommendations of UNESCO, I believe that there should always be someone responsible for the recommendations made by the algorithm, especially in the field of politics. In the same way, I think we should ask someone to take responsibility for every decision the algorithm can make, but not hide behind it. Whether it’s when applying for a mortgage, setting priorities in the hospital, and so on.

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Claim the importance of politics, political participation and the need for politicians. To argue that a computer algorithm makes decisions is to reason that neutrality is possible and that politicians should disappear. It is an anti-political movement that, if we think about it in detail, prefers to keep things as they are.

Miguel Toro He is Professor of Computer Languages ​​and Systems at the University of Seville.

Intangible Records It is a space for publishing computer science, coordinated by the academic association SISTYS (Sociedad de Ingeniería de Software y de Tecnologías de Desarrollo de Software). The intangible part is the intangible part of computer systems (that is, the software), and its history and development are related here. The authors are professors from Spanish universities, coordinated by Ricardo Peña Mare (Professor at the Complutense University of Madrid) and Macario Polo Osola (Professor at the University of Castilla-La Mancha).

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