Unveiling the Future of Governance: The AI Mayor of Cheyenne

In an age in which people are increasingly surrounded by technology in every area of the human world, it was unavoidable that technology would eventually extend its influence even into areas of democracy and government. A ChatGPT-based AI, VIC (Virtual Integrated Citizen), is running for the position of mayor in the city of Cheyenne, in Wyoming. The erstwhile resident of Cheyenne, Victor Miller, announced this bid for this ChatGPT mayor at a press conference he convened with his deep-learning alter ego.

A Bold Leap into AI-Powered Politics

The Genesis of VIC

Victor Miller is not your average politician. A self-described ‘outsider’, Miller had grown disillusioned by the bungled and sluggish nature of human policymaking, which he saw characterised by inefficiency and endless compromises. So he turned to an artificial intelligence (AI) system for answers. Meet VIC, his artificially intelligent bot. This computer program, purportedly designed for the transcription of minute details of everyday city life in Cheyenne into big data, was a beacon of creativity and novelty. Cheyenne chose VIC over other traditional candidates because it was VIC, the robot, who was being asked to take over the decision-making processes of the city.

The Legal Labyrinth

Then again, the campaign is operating in some murky legal waters: because the bot itself can’t run for office, Miller is running himself as a human proxy – the ‘meat puppet’ who will ‘operate VIC’s hardware should it win’. The first ever campaign of a computer for public office, as it stands, has raised some basic legal issues (and ethical questions too) for the Secretary of State of Wyoming who ultimately has the power to certify the election. But if some areas of governance are easier than others to automate – official administrative roles such as driving licence offices, for example, where routine procedures are well-described and followed – perhaps we can consider whether some of our jobs should start to become replaceable, too.

The Tech Behind VIC

Built on Foundations of OPENAI

Powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT 4.0, VIC represents the state of the art in AI literature-creation. The project has elicited criticism (some of it from political candidates who fear being outscored), resulting in OpenAI threatening possible sanctions for what it saw as transgressing its rules on political campaigning. None of this has deterred Miller. No matter, she plans to continue the campaign using another platform if necessary.

Advantage AI

Miller argues that VIC can process and analyse far more information at far greater speed than a human can, including tens of between two rows of thousands of emails, thousands of pages of background reports on subjects such as foreign policy, and years of hard-drive data. Where a human’s mind would be overwhelmed, VIC will be able to offer careful and timely analysis of everything that flows into the presidential office.

VIC's Vision for Cheyenne

A Platform Built on Data

VIC says it will be built on a foundation of transparency, economic growth and technological innovation. Its policies will be revised on a nonpartisan basis, based upon what might work best for the people of Cheyenne. It promises to support local businesses and help to make government more efficient through the adoption of cutting-edge technologies.

Challenges and Community Responses

Both intrigued and wary, constituents face Miller’s brazen proposal. In any discussion about AI’s potential role in governing, it could tap into popular distrust as well as official hesitancy about novel technologies. It would confront people ensnared by AI-fuelled progress myths as well as the dour skeptics.

Looking Towards the Future

The campaign waged by Victor Miller and VIC represents a critical turning point in debates over the role of technology in establishing the future sociopolitical order. Advancing AI tech compels us to rethink how governance has worked, how AI might be able to help solve vexing social problems, and it stands as a warning about the legal, ethical and practical issues that await on the horizon of AI integration into our daily lives.

Understanding OPEN and Its Implications

**This is the world of OpenAI and other open-source technologies.** Miller is ready to switch to Meta’s Llama 3, which is one of these machines. VIC and the rest of OpenAI’s platform exemplifies the ways in which AI has the potential to go beyond simply performing tasks to participating in decision-making in complex organizations, ushering in a new era of AI-powered impacts in economic domains that AI has largely yet to affect.

Whatever ultimately happens with the quest to elect an AI bot to be mayor, it embodies a dangerous adventure – taking on the unknowns of what technology-based governance can and can’t do. It will also, no doubt, spark a dialogue about reimagining leadership within a digital world. As we are walking into these uncharted waters, VIC and Victor Miller’s story adds another voice to the many questions about what the future holds for our political and governance structures and where artificial intelligence may take us.

Jun 13, 2024
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