World’s First AI Mayoral Candidate Promises Fair and Balanced Politics

We’ve heard of robots and artificial intelligence taking human jobs, but I bet mayors didn’t really think their jobs would be threatened any time soon. They were wrong, and the AI running for mayor of a Tokyo district is clear proof of that.

Artificial Intelligence can’t legally run for high-ranking public administration positions yet, but one mayoral candidate from Tama City, Tokyo, intends to maximize the use of artificial intelligence in running municipal affairs, so he’s running his campaign as ‘AI Mayor’. Basically, he’s proposing replacing human public officials with AI and having them collect city data and create fair and balanced policies that will benefit everyone.

Photo: Tama AI Mayor/Twitter

“For the first time in the world, AI will run in an election,” human candidate Michihito Matsuda announced on Twitter. “Artificial intelligence will change Tama City. With the birth of an AI-Mayor, we will conduct impartial and balanced politics. We will implement policies for the future with speed, accumulate information and know-how, and lead the next generation.”

44-year-old Matsuda also ran for mayor of Tama City in 2014, but lost by a large margin. This time around, he merely aims to act as an avatar for the AI he is convinced can make better decisions than any human can ever hope to. Not to mention that artificial intelligence is much less susceptible to corruption.

Photo: Tama AI Mayor/Twitter

The AI Mayor has campaigning very much like its human competitors. Posters showing a futuristic android and campaign messages have been plastered all over Tama City and campaign trucks have been blaring out promises of an AI utopia and asking for support.

While some people have called Michihito Matsuda’s campaign a stunt, as a human will still be the one legally in charge, others have declared themselves excited about the prospect of AI running things in the background, adding that it has to be a better alternative to incompetent and corrupt humans.

Photo: Tama AI Mayor/Twitter

Elections for Tama City will be held on April 15, and while the AI Mayor’s chances of actually winning are slow, the results of Sunday’s vote are expected to at least offer an insight into how the Japanese view the involvement of AI in politics and local administration.

I for one hope Matsuda wins. In fact, I think politics may the one field where we need AI the most.