Procedural Democracy and Electronic Agents

Gupta, Suman (2021). Procedural Democracy and Electronic Agents. AI Magazine, 42(1) pp. 30–38.

URL: https://ojs.aaai.org/index.php/aimagazine/article/...

Abstract

In recent years, firms offering political campaigning and fundraising services have claimed that artificial intelligence is used to maximize their clients' interests. Numerous news reports suggest that artificial intelligence capacities have influenced high-profile voting events; publications decrying the threat posed to democratic procedures are proliferating. This article takes a skeptical view of such claims, with an argument in six sections. First, the received principles of procedural democracy in relation to voting events are outlined. Second, the kind of services in question are considered. Third, to what extent these services actually involve artificial intelligence is pondered. Fourth, how such technological capacities may bear upon the tenets of procedural democracy are raised. Fifth, it is argued that it is unlikely that those tenets are indeed significantly undermined in practice. And sixth, this article concludes by considering the implications of it being proven that such technological capacities do play a decisive role in voting events.

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