Is it just me, or are there other people here
that are a little bitdisappointed with democracy?
So let’s look at a few numbers.
If we look across the world,
the median turnout in presidential elections over the last 30 years
has been just 67 percent.
Now,if we go to Europe and we look
at people that participated in EU parliamentary elections,
the median turnout in those elections is just 42 percent.
Now let’s go to New York,
and let’s see how many people voted in the last election for mayor.
We will find that only 24 percent of people showed up to vote.
What that means is that,if”Friends” was still running,
只有乔伊 也许加上菲比 会参加投票
Joey and maybe Phoebewould have shown up to vote.
And you cannot blame thembecause people are tired of politicians.
And people are tired
to communicate withtheir friends and family,
to communicate withtheir friends and family,
to target political propaganda at them.
But the thing about thisis that this is not new.
Nowadays, people use likesto target propaganda at you
before they use your zip code or your gender or your age,
because the idea of targeting peoplewith propaganda for political purposes
is as old as politics.
And the reason why that idea is there
is because democracyhas a basic vulnerability.
This is the idea of a representative.
In principle, democracy is the abilityof people to exert power.
But in practice,
we have to delegate that power to a representative
that can exert that power for us.
That representative is a bottleneck, or a weak spot.
It is the place that you want to target if you want to attack democracy
because you can capture democracyby either capturing that representative
or capturing the waythat people choose it.
So the big question is: Is this the end of history?
Is this the best that we can do or,
actually, are there alternatives?
Some people have been thinkingabout alternatives,
and one of the ideas that is
out there is the idea of direct democracy.
This is the idea of bypassingpoliticians completely
and having people vote directly on issues,
having people vote directly on bills.
But this idea is naive because there’s too many things
that we would need to choose.
If you look at the 114th US Congress,
you will have seen thatthe House of Representatives
considered more than 6,000 bills,
the Senate consideredmore than 3,000 bills
and they approved more than 300 laws.
Those would be many decisions
that each person would have to make a week
on topics that they know little about.
So there’s a big cognitivebandwidth problem
if we’re going to try to think about direct democracy as a viable alternative.
So some people think about the idea of liquid democracy, or fluid democracy,
which is the idea that you endorse your political power to someone,
who can endorse it to someone else,
and eventually,you create a large follower network
in which, at the end, there’s a few people that are making decisions
on behalf of all of their followersand their followers.
But this idea also doesn’t solve the problem
of the cognitive bandwidth and,
to be honest,
it’s also quite similar to the idea of having a representative.
So what I want to do today is
I want to be a little bit provocative,
and I’m going to ask you, well:
What if, instead of tryingto bypass politicians,
we tried to automate them?
The idea of automation is not new.
It was started more than 300 years ago,
when French weavers decidedto automate the loom.
The winner of that industrial warwas Joseph-Marie Jacquard.
He was a French weaver and a merchant
that married the loom with the steam engine
to create autonomous looms.
And in those autonomous looms,he gained control.
He could now make fabrics that
were more complex and more sophisticated
than the ones theywere able to do by hand.
But also, by winning that industrial war,
he laid out what has becomethe blueprint of automation.
The way that we automate thingsfor the last 300 years
has always been the same: we first identify a need,
then we create a toolto satisfy that need,
like the loom, in this case,
and then we study how people use that tool
to automate that user.
That’s how we camefrom the mechanical loom
to the autonomous loom, and that took us a thousand years.
Now, it’s taken us only a hundred years
to use the same scriptto automate the car.
But the thing is that, this time around,
automation is kind of for real.
This is a video that a colleague
of mine from Toshiba shared with me
that shows the factorythat manufactures solid state drives.
The entire factory is a robot.
There are no humans in that factory.
And the robots are soonto leave the factories
and become part of our world,
become part of our workforce.
So what I’m doing in my day job
is actually create tools that integrate data for entire countries
so that we can ultimately havethe foundations that we need
for a future in which we need to also manage those machines.
But today, I’m not here
to talk to you about these tools
that integrate data for countries.
But I’m here to talk to youabout another idea
that might help us think about how to use artificial intelligence in democracy.
Because the tools that I buildare designed for executive decisions.
These are decisions that can be cast
in some sort of term of objectivity —
public investment decisions.
But there are decisionsthat are legislative,
and these decisions that are legislativerequire communication among people
that have different points of view,
需要参与 需要辩论 需要商议
require participation, require debate, require deliberation.
And for a long time,we have thought that, well,
what we need to improve democracyis actually more communication.
So all of the technologies
that we have advanced in the context of democracy,
whether they are newspapersor whether it is social media,
have tried to provide uswith more communication.
But we’ve been down that rabbit hole,
and we know that’s not what’s going to solve the problem.
Because it’s not a communication problem, it’s a cognitive bandwidth problem.
So if the problem is oneof cognitive bandwidth, well,
adding more communication to people
is not going to bewhat’s going to solve it.
What we are going to need instead
is to have other technologies
that help us deal withsome of the communication
that we are overloaded with.
Think of, like, a little avatar, a software agent,
a digital Jiminy Cricket!
that basically is ableto answer things on your behalf.
And if we had that technology,
we would be able to offload some of the communication
and help, maybe, make better decisions or decisions at a larger scale.
And the thing is that the idea of software agents is also not new.
We already use them all the time.
We use software agents
to choose the way
that we’re going to drive to a certain location,
the music that we’re going to listen to
or to get suggestions for the next books that we should read.
So there is an obvious ideain the 21st century
that was as obvious as the idea
of putting together a steam engine with a loom at the time of Jacquard.
And that idea is combiningdirect democracy with software agents.
Imagine, for a second, a world
in which, instead of havinga representative that represents you
and millions of other people,
you can have a representative that represents only you,
with your nuanced political views —
that weird combinationof libertarian and liberal
and maybe a little bitconservative on some issues
and maybe very progressive on others.
Politicians nowadays are packages,and they’re full of compromises.
But you might have someonethat can represent only you,
if you are willing to give up the idea
that that representative is a human.
If that representativeis a software agent,
we could have a senate that has as many senators as we have citizens.
And those senators are going to
be able to read every bill
and they’re going to be able to vote on each one of them.
So there’s an obvious ideathat maybe we want to consider.
But I understand that in this day and age,
this idea might be quite scary.
In fact, thinking of a robotcoming from the future
to help us run our governments sounds terrifying.
But we’ve been there before.
And actually he was quite a nice guy.
So what would the Jacquard loom version of this idea look like?
It would be a very simple system.
Imagine a system that you log
in and you create your avatar,
and then you’re goingto start training your avatar.
So you can provide your avatarwith your reading habits,
or connect it to your social media,
or you can connect it to other data,
for example by takingpsychological tests.
And the nice thing about thisis that there’s no deception.
You are not providing data to communicate
with your friends and family
that then gets used in a political system.
You are providing data to a
system that is designed to be used
to make political decisionson your behalf.
Then you take that data and you choosea training algorithm,
because it’s an open marketplace
in which different people can submit different algorithms
to predict how you’re going to vote,
based on the data you have provided.
And the system is open,so nobody controls the algorithms;
there are algorithmsthat become more popular
and others that become less popular.
And eventually, you can audit the system.
You can see how your avatar is working.
And if you like, you can leave it on autopilot.
If you want to bea little more controlling,
you can actually choose
that they ask you every time they’re going to make a decision,
or you can be anywhere in between.
One of the reasonswhy we use democracy so little may be
because democracyhas a very bad user interface.
And if we improve the userinterface of democracy,
we might be able to use it more.
Of course, there’s a lot of questionsthat you might have. Well,
how do you train these avatars?
How do you keep the data secure?
How do you keep the systemsdistributed and auditable?
How about my grandmother,who’s 80 years old
and doesn’t know how to use the internet?
Trust me, I’ve heard them all.
So when you think about an idea like this,
you have to beware of pessimists
because they are known to havea problem for every solution.
So I want to invite you to think about the bigger ideas.
The questions I just showed youare little ideas
because they are questionsabout how this would not work.
The big ideas are ideas of:
What else can you do with this if this would happen to work?
And one of those ideas is,well, who writes the laws?
In the beginning,
we could have the avatars that we already have,
voting on laws that are writtenby the senators or politicians
that we already have.
But if this were to work, you could write an algorithm
that could try to write a law
that would get a certainpercentage of approval,
and you could reverse the process.
Now, you might think that this idea is ludicrous
and we should not do it,
but you can not deny
that it’s an idea that is only possible
in a world in which direct democracyand software agents
are a viable form of participation.
So how do we start the revolution?
We don’t start this revolutionwith picket fences or protests
or by demanding our current politiciansto be changed into robots.
That’s not going to work.
这更简单 更慢 更谦卑
This is much more simple, much slower and much more humble.
We start this revolution by creating simple systems
like this in grad schools,
in libraries, in nonprofits.
And we try to figure outall of those little questions
and those little problems that we’re going to have to figure out
to make this idea something viable,
to make this idea somethingthat we can trust.
And as we create those systems that have a hundred people,
a thousand people,
a hundred thousand people voting
in ways that are not politically binding,
we’re going to develop trust in this idea,
the world is going to change,
and those that are as little
as my daughter is right now
are going to grow up.
And by the time my daughter is my age,
maybe this idea, that I knowtoday is very crazy,
might not be crazy to herand to her friends.
And at that point,
we will be at the end of our history,
but they will beat the beginning of theirs.