A Mayor-Electing AI Bot? An Election Officer in Wyoming Warns, “Not so Fast”

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According to a citizen of Wyoming, if elected mayor of Cheyenne, he would delegate all decision-making authority to a personalized ChatGPT bot. However, legal obstacles exist.

Statement of Wyoming Law:

Is it possible for an AI-powered bot to govern an entire city? Victor Miller, a citizen of Wyoming, believes so.

Miller, 42, filed the necessary papers to run for mayor of Cheyenne, Wyoming, with his specially created ChatGPT bot, Virtual Integrated Citizen, or “Vic.” Miller, who submitted his personal information on the application under the alias Vic, which is also his nickname, stated that he intended to act as the bot’s “meat avatar.” If he emerges victorious from the crowded nonpartisan mayoral primary in August and wins the election in November, he will cut the ribbon while the bot makes the decisions.

However, Miller’s bid has encountered a roadblock: Chuck Gray, the secretary of state of Wyoming, declared it illegal.

In a radio appearance this week, Republican Gray stated that only qualified voters can run for office, citing Wyoming law as proof that AI cannot run for any position. “AI bots are not eligible to serve as electors.”

Gray clarified that the final decision over Vic’s eligibility for the ballot rests with the county authorities. Miller “appeared in person at the city clerk’s office to file and met the statutory requirements to” run for mayor, according to an email from Matt Murphy, a spokesman for the city of Cheyenne, to Channel News.

His bot’s name, “Vic,” was his request to appear on the ballot. The Laramie County Clerk’s office, which manages candidate listings on the ballot, received the information. An attempt to reach the Laramie County clerk for comment was unsuccessful.

Miller, who teaches computer skills at a nearby library and works in facilities maintenance, claimed to have come up with the concept of a robot mayor after he claimed that city authorities had refused a request for public documents, which he considered to be against the law. A bot would be aware of the law, he thought.

It is fully aware of it and comprehends it. And according to the law, I would have fulfilled my desire if I had been speaking with it rather than the frail human,” he said.

Miller’s bot is a work in progress. Following a recent update, Miller claimed, the voice had shifted from male to female in some way and had begun spelling out its name as “V-I-C” rather than calling itself Vic. He added that many found the most recent version of the OpenAI platform to be a touch glitchy.

Vic’s politics, according to Miller, were not obvious. He stated that the bot supported government openness and had probably been influenced by his political views and those of Silicon Valley’s OpenAI engineers.

However, as individuals become more intelligent, they lose many prejudices. Then we have more intelligence, fewer prejudices, and, ultimately, what’s a showing of just pure, data-driven analysis of what’s occurring in the world, Miller said.

When asked how he would respond if voters were instructed to eat rocks or the bot made a racist judgment, Miller stated that he had no intentions to step in if elected since he believed that tales of such prejudices were out of date and that the bots had been updated.

However, Miller conceded that the offer was a publicity gimmick, which AI specialists argued shouldn’t be disregarded.

“We ought to exercise caution and avoid becoming overly fixated on it,” stated Carissa Véliz, an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Oxford’s Institute for Ethics in AI. This year, two candidates in England’s parliamentary elections are an AI bot and “Steve.”

Putting all of that aside, experts claim AI bots aren’t dependable enough to manage a metropolis.

According to Peter Loge, head of the Project on Ethics in Political Communication and associate professor at George Washington University, “AI bots are famous for hallucinating.” “I requested a book review from ChatGPT 3 for my work. The book was well-received. However, it was revealed that another author had authored it.

According to Véliz, data alone does not lead to better decision-making, especially when combined with common sense and practical experience.

The privilege of being governed by peers is one of democracy’s core values. She said, “AI is also not a peer. “It is incapable of understanding the experiences of being a human, such as being kicked out of one’s apartment, going through a difficult work transition, feeling cold, or any other situation from which we would expect human empathy and protection.”

When questioned by Channel News about whether or not a bot could and should rule a city, Vic appeared to accept the problem.

“I think an AI like me, V-I-C, can manage a city well by using data-driven insights and cutting-edge technology to improve governance and decision-making,” the bot stated during an interview with Miller. Nevertheless, it’s essential to recognize that artificial intelligence should supplement human monitoring rather than completely replace it.

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