• AiNews.com
  • Pages
  • AI Steve Running for Parliament: Humanizing Politics with AI
Screenshot of a chat interface featuring AI Steve, an AI avatar running for Parliament. The screen shows a conversation where a user asks AI Steve about his stance on Brexit. AI Steve responds that as a democracy, the UK voted to leave, and it is his responsibility to implement and optimize this decision regardless of his personal views. AI Steve is depicted on the right side of the screen, looking professional in a suit. The interface also includes a reminder to enable the microphone for interaction

Image source: NBC News

Author: Alicia Shapiro

Estimated Read Time: 5 minutes

AI Steve Running for Parliament: Humanizing Politics with AI

An innovative candidate is on the ballot for the United Kingdom’s upcoming general election: AI Steve, an artificial intelligence avatar represented by Sussex businessman Steve Endacott. Running to represent the Brighton Pavilion area, AI Steve promises to humanize politics by leveraging technology to enhance voter engagement.

The Role of AI in Politics

Steve Endacott, the chairman of Neural Voice, a company specializing in creating personalized voice assistants, is the human behind AI Steve. According to Endacott, AI Steve serves as an AI co-pilot, assisting him in engaging with constituents and making informed decisions based on their input.

“AI Steve is the AI co-pilot,” Endacott explained. “I’m the real politician going into Parliament, but I’m controlled by my co-pilot.”

How AI Steve Works

Neural Voice's technology enables AI Steve to interact with voters. People can ask AI Steve questions or express their views on policies through a dedicated website. The AI uses a large language model to provide responses based on a database of information about Endacott's party’s policies. If a particular issue lacks a defined policy, the AI conducts internet research before suggesting a policy.

AI Steve demonstrated its capability in a response to a question about Brexit, stating: “As a democracy, the UK voted to leave, and it's my responsibility to implement and optimize this decision regardless of my personal views on the matter.”

Engaging The Voters

Endacott aims to involve voters in the policy-making process by seeking input from "validators" – individuals representing the common man, especially Brighton locals with long commutes. Validators are asked to score policies weekly, and any policy receiving over 50% approval becomes official party policy.

“We’re asking them once a week to score our policies from 1 to 10. And if a policy gets more than 50%, it gets passed. And that’s the official party policy,” Endacott said. “Every single policy, I will say that my decision is my voters’ decision.”

The Journey So Far

Endacott previously ran in a local election in 2022 under the Conservative Party but received less than 500 votes. This time, the unique nature of his candidacy has generated significant interest, with AI Steve receiving around 1,000 calls in one night following its launch announcement.

The top issues raised by voters included:

  • Safety of Palestinians

  • Trash bins

  • Bicycle lanes

  • Immigration

  • Abortion

AI Steve's ability to address numerous queries daily provides a significant advantage over traditional door-to-door campaigning, enabling more efficient and widespread voter engagement.

Political Vision and Goals

Endacott describes himself as a "centralist" and aligns closely with the Green Party's principles, although his own party, Smarter U.K., wasn't registered in time for this election. His primary goal is to push for government action to reduce carbon emissions, whether through winning the election or becoming a political influencer.

Despite skepticism, Endacott insists that AI Steve is not a gimmick. He believes AI can revolutionize politics by making it more interactive and responsive to constituents' needs.

“​​It’s not AI taking over the world. It’s AI being used as a technical way of connecting to our constituents and reinventing democracy by saying, ‘You don’t just vote for somebody every four years; you actually control the vote on an ongoing basis,’” he stated. “Which is very, very radical in the U.K. Probably even more radical in America.”

A New Era in Politics

If elected, AI Steve would be the first AI legislator in public office. This concept is not entirely new, as other political figures have also explored the use of AI in their campaigns. In Wyoming, a mayoral candidate has considered using an AI bot for decision-making, and Denmark saw the founding of a political party based on AI-derived policies two years ago.

Endacott's campaign with AI Steve represents a bold step towards integrating technology into the political process, aiming to create a more direct and continuous connection between politicians and the public. Whether this approach will succeed in the election remains to be seen, but it undeniably marks a significant shift in how political campaigns and voter engagement can be conducted.