• Don Wade
    69
    Are we at the point yet where we - as a Nation - could be openly governed by one, or more, computers? Would we vote for a compouter if we thoght the computer(s) was better able to govern than any human entities?
  • 8livesleft
    126
    There's a show called "Travelers" which reminds me of your topic. Here, you have people from a dystopian future who are sent back in time, with specific directions from a supercomputer - which is supposed to be incorruptible and with the sole purpose of righting history's wrongs.

    In the financial world, we extensively use computers to sort of predict trends through complex metrics - but people need to be the one's to interpret the data - or so we're led to believe. I'm sure there are already programs or rudimentary Ai that are doing those things for the financial managers today.

    So, if computers can dictate finance, I'm sure we can use them to do the same for policy.

    The problem though is if those computers are hacked to favor one group over another. They're only as good as their programming after all.
  • fishfry
    1.8k
    Are we at the point yet where we - as a Nation - could be openly governed by one, or more, computers?Don Wade

    What does that even mean?
  • whollyrolling
    483
    The moment that a 'computer' is given power to govern humans is the end of freedom and the beginning of the end of humanity. I mean, we've reached a point at which some idiot(s) are punching code into machines to tell them what to do and say and then proclaiming publicly that the machines are thinking for themselves. So I guess sure, why not let them run the world?
  • synthesis
    366
    With the ascension of science to the top of Mt. Olympus over the past couple of centuries, it makes perfect sense that dependency on the manipulation of data (mathematics being the language of their holy journals) will be seen as a more efficient method to control the affairs of man than is the application of human compassion.

    After all, could there be better method to disguise the true intention of of any system then to package it in mathematical mumbo-jumbo and then tell people, "You must follow the science."
  • fishfry
    1.8k
    After all, could there be better method to disguise the true intention of of any system then to package it in mathematical mumbo-jumbo and then tell people, "You must follow the science."synthesis

    Not for nothin' do they call it techofascism. Coming soon to a bankrupt empire near you.
  • synthesis
    366
    Not for nothin' do they call it techofascism. Coming soon to a bankrupt empire near you.fishfry

    Unfortunately, it's been going on for a long, long time, perhaps the first wizards being the BOE in 1696 as the first central bank. Another wonderful example is when the USG told Americans in 1936 that their social security numbers would never be used for any other reason than for social security (old age pensions).
  • TheMadFool
    8.7k
    Interesting question. To my knowledge, how elections are conducted - with debates featuring prominently (toward the end?) - gives us the impression that people vote with their brains and if that's the case then, yeah, an AI computer could, in principle, defeat a challenger to the white house and become the president.

    However, it's what happens in between those live-telecast debates - the campaign trails are riddled with mudslinging, name-calling, and every conceivable underhand tactic a person can think of - that suggests a different conclusion viz. that people vote with, for want of a better word, their hearts, perhaps even their vaginas or penises for all we know. An AI could, in my humble opinion, never match a human in that department for it would be utterly oblivious to the emotional elements involved and if it did somehow manage to acquire this ability we wouldn't know the difference between an AI and a human president rendering the question moot.
  • Harry Hindu
    4k
    Are we at the point yet where we - as a Nation - could be openly governed by one, or more, computers? Would we vote for a compouter if we thoght the computer(s) was better able to govern than any human entities?Don Wade
    Depends on who programmed it.
  • Don Wade
    69
    The "swamp" programmed it.
  • Harry Hindu
    4k
    The "swamp" programmed it.Don Wade
    How would that be any different than what we have now?
  • Don Wade
    69
    Good question. Is there really a difference between man and what man programmed?
  • Harry Hindu
    4k
    Sure there is. But that wasn't the question. If I programmed the computer to "rule them all", then I wouldn't be programming a swamp computer. It would be an anti-swamp computer, designed to track the income of all politicians and see how they're being influenced, and listen in and watch via Webcam and microphones their "secret" conversations, to hear and see what they really say and do without cameras and mics around, you know, like that School Board Zoom meeting in Cali that exposed the school board members as a group of shitty hypocrites.
  • Miguel Hernández
    66

    The illusion of being ruled by machines is seductive by the principle of equality. It seems like a way to ensure that the law applies equally to everyone. Great, huh? But if the best government is that of the machines, perhaps only they should vote. This we may not like so much.
  • 180 Proof
    2.3k
    Read this masterful post-scarcity utopian space saga The Culture by the late great Iain M. Banks, especially these three (of ten) novels:

    Consider Phlebas
    • Excession
    • Look To Windward


    These are stories of a galaxy-spanning "humanoid" civilization completely controlled by super-intelligent A.I.s (called "Minds").

    edit:

    To paraphrase Herr Heidegger: (Perhaps) only a Technological Singularity can save us now. :smirk:
  • Don Wade
    69
    If we don't know the "who, or the how" - we may already be programmed by the machines.
  • Paul S
    146
    If we don't know the "who, or the how" - we may already be programmed by the machines.Don Wade

    We are really. But one man/woman at the "top" being replaced by a robot won't fix anything. When you take spirituality, family, and enlightenment out of a persons life and replace it with fear, hate and addiction, then they have been reduced to the level of a biological robot arguably, though not necessarily permanently.
  • Harry Hindu
    4k
    The illusion of being ruled by machines is seductive by the principle of equality. It seems like a way to ensure that the law applies equally to everyone. Great, huh? But if the best government is that of the machines, perhaps only they should vote. This we may not like so much.Miguel Hernández
    Computers are logical. They won't use irrelevant information like skin color when determining who gets jobs, political appointments, etc., In effect, they would be color-blind and the images on our tele-screen would be accurately represent the composition and diversity of the population (rather than what we have now, which is over-representing and under-representing certain groups for political purposes).
  • javi2541997
    93
    This question reminds me a lot from an anime called "Psycho-Pass" where the citizens were controlled by a machine called "Dominator". It reflects your behaviour in colours pattern. If it's white you have the right to stay in the society if it is red you are "dangerous" and you do not deserve being part of it. At the end of the day this system went broken because it is impossible to determinate something as complex as human behaviour by a computer/system.
    Abstract and complex theories like law, equality, legislation, governance, rights, taxes, etc... Can't be identified by a computer/robot system as a "0/1 pattern" or algorithms. It depends a lot of where are you living: Countries whose rule of law is a constitution/countries whose rule of law is God or religion (for example Morocco or Israel). So in this fact it will be impossible to determinate equality or governance since the moment where the meaning of those terms are differently interpreted by the governors.
  • Miguel Hernández
    66

    Computers are illogical. Who determines what information is relevant? The programmer, not the machine. A computer is a fast fool. Let's try not to be slow fools.

    Metropolis-image.jpg
  • Paul S
    146
    I didn't want to respond with the constraint just that the President could be replaced with a robot because really, the entire mechanism of government could be replaced conceivably.


    The case for computers making decisions in government is that:
    Assuming that an open source architecture can replace government:

    • A computer cannot be bribed and could make transparent decisions that are irrefutable as the rules are agreed on beforehand.
    • It's more efficient and likely cost saving in the long run.
    • If too much effort goes into making the computers intelligent, it just creates more overhead as they would have to be governed, defeating most of the key benefits in the first place.
    • The programmers become the politicians to a degree. We already see that creeping into social networks. They determine the logic and any additional constrains of the system so you are just shifting concerns to a degree
    • Hacking or cracking becomes even more pervasive as you can effectively hack government policy, if the system is implemented poorly

    If its a closed source system with shady deals done in the background, you end up with something similar to badly managed electronic voting.

    • The corruption is even more pervasive
    • There is still no transparency
    • Government is reduced to merely being a quango where the real decisions are made completely externally, already happens to a degree.
  • Harry Hindu
    4k
    Computers are illogical. Who determines what information is relevant? The programmer, not the machine. A computer is a fast fool. Let's try not to be slow fools.Miguel Hernández

    How exactly does the programmer decide what information is relevant but a computer can't?

    Humans are programmed by natural selection. So natural selection "selected" what is relevant for humans, and it can do the same with computers that are designed to learn.
  • Miguel Hernández
    66

    Rationalism in politics is nonsense. All rationalists believe that any problem can be understood and has a solution. Great nonsense. You don't give credit to practical experience that does not depend on reason, but on time, sensitivity, and a long relationship with complex customs that work in reality. For cooking, playing poker, or competing in lovemaking, there is no theoretical program or knowledge to replace practical experience. If you want to cook badly, lose at poker, or ruin your love story, consult a manual or follow the steps in a biology treatise or on a computer. If you wish the love of a woman and you believe in Darwin, what a shock awaits you, friend.
  • Photios
    10


    First we need computer that can actually think (though that does not stop politicians now!).
  • Harry Hindu
    4k
    Rationalism in politics is nonsense. All rationalists believe that any problem can be understood and has a solution. Great nonsense.Miguel Hernández

    Every problem does have a solution. Its just that some people prefer to live with the problem rather than the solution, which is a solution (decision) in itself.

    For cooking, playing poker, or competing in lovemaking, there is no theoretical program or knowledge to replace practical experience. If you want to cook badly, lose at poker, or ruin your love story, consult a manual or follow the steps in a biology treatise or on a computer. If you wish the love of a woman and you believe in Darwin, what a shock awaits you, friend.Miguel Hernández
    You're forgetting how we animals are programmed by natural selection to have experiences, to love, be sad, etc. (Evolutionary psychology - know anything about it?).

    Now that we're on the subject, what exactly is an experience?
  • Miguel Hernández
    66
    Every problem does have a solution. Its just that some people prefer to live with the problem rather than the solution, which is a solution (decision) in itself.Harry Hindu

    When in 1980 the super-rich decided to get their money out of the American economy, deindustrializing the country and sending their factories where wages and environmental regulations are a joke, major north-american cities became hollowed-out helmets of an industrial past that was once glorious, synonymous with decline. Think Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Buffalo, Toledo, and more. Tens of millions of white workers in working-class factories were out of work, losing their high-paying jobs forever. Have they chosen to live with your problems? What are their chances of solving their problems?

    The reality is very complex. The problems faced by millions of people are not created or solved by themselves.
  • Harry Hindu
    4k
    Think Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Buffalo, Toledo, and more. Tens of millions of white workers in working-class factories were out of work, losing their high-paying jobs forever. Have they chosen to live with your problems? What are their chances of solving their problems?.Miguel Hernández
    Sure. Not wanting to learn anything new is the problem. Adapt and evolve is the solution.

    This type of thing has been happening since humans have had jobs. Think about the decline of religion thanks to the discoveries in science. Religion has had to adapt and change to stay viable.

    The reality is very complex. The problems faced by millions of people are not created or solved by themselves.Miguel Hernández
    I never said that one solution solves every problem or even that one solution works for everyone. Thinking requires work and doesn't come easy for many people.
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