This Political Party Is Led by an AI Entity

The Synthetic Party is a new political group in Denmark that is committed to following the platform thought up by an AI entity known as Leader Lars.

Out of all the political parties eyeing a seat in the Danish Parliament this year, the Synthetic Party has to be the most intriguing, by far. Founded in May by artist collective Computer lars and non-profit art and tech organization MindFuture Foundation, the new political party is dedicated to following the policies of an AI programmed on the policies of all Danish fringe parties since the 1970s that have never obtained a seat in the parliament. Apart from promoting the presence of AI in politics, the Synthetic Party also aims to become an alternative for the 20 percent of the Danish population that never votes in elections.

Photo: geralt/Pixabay

“We’re representing the data of all fringe parties, so it’s all of the parties who are trying to get elected into parliament but don’t have a seat,” Asker Staunæs, the creator of the party, told Motherboard Magazine. “So it’s a person who has formed a political vision of their own that they would like to realize, but they usually don’t have the money or resources to do so.”

Some of the policies that the Synthetic Party has proposed so far include establishing a universal basic income of 100,000 Danish kroner ($13,700) per month, and the creation of a jointly-owned internet and IT sector in the government that is on par with other public institutions. Are these things good, are they bad? Well, it’s an AI, so it doesn’t judge things the way we do.

“It’s a synthetic party, so many of the policies can be contradictory to one another,” Asker Staunæs says. “When you synthesize, it’s about amplifying certain tendencies and expressions within a large, large pool of opinions. And if it contradicts itself, maybe they could do so in an interesting way and expand our imagination about what is possible.”

Photo: geralt/Pixabay

Because every political party needs a leader, the Synthetic Party has created an AI-powered chatbot named Leader Lars, and people can actually speak to him on Discord. The chatbot understands English, but will only reply in Danish. Its name won’t be on voting balots, because the law doesn’t permit it yet, but the human representatives are apparently committed to acting as a medium for the AI.

“Leader Lars is the figurehead of the party. Denmark is a representative democracy, so would have humans on the ballot that are representing Leader Lars and who are committed to acting as a medium for the AI,” the party’s founder said. “People who are voting for The Synthetic Party will have to believe what we are selling ourselves as, people who actually engage so much with artificial intelligence that we can interpret something valuable from them.”

The Synthetic Party currently only has 11 signatures out of the 20,000 required to make it eligible to run in this November’s election, so it most likely won’t make the cut. But Staunæs says that he and his colleagues are in contact with other synthetics from around the world – from Colombia to Moldova – to create local versions of the party and ultimately “have some form of Synthetic International”.