By Arfa Khan
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the result of applying cognitive science techniques to artificially create something that performs tasks that only humans can perform, like reasoning, natural communication, and problem-solving. However, AI is not just about making things smarter; it is also about making them more efficient and effective. In other words, it is about making things work better. AI is already having a profound impact on democracy. In fact, it could be argued that AI is the most significant development in democracy since the introduction of the secret ballot. Here are three ways it is impacting democracy:
1. AI is making it easier for citizens to engage with their government. There are now chatbots that can help citizens file taxes, apply for benefits, and even register to vote. In the future, AI will only make it easier for citizens to interact with their government.
2. AI is making it easier for citizens to hold their government accountable. There are now AI- powered tools that can help citizens track government spending, identify cases of corruption, and
even monitor election results. In the future, AI will only make it easier for citizens to hold their government accountable.
3. AI is making it easier for citizens to participate in the democratic process. There are now AI- powered tools that can help citizens identify which political party they align with, find their polling place, and even get personalized election reminders.
In the future, AI will only make it easier for citizens to participate in the democratic process. AI is clearly having a profound impact on democracy. In the future, AI will only become more prevalent and its impact on democracy will only become more pronounced.
On the other hand, there are a lot of talks these days about the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to disrupt democracy as we know it. Some observers are even warning that AI could spell the end of democracy itself. While it is certainly true that AI could be used to undermine democracy, it is important to remember that AI is just a tool. It is not an autonomous agent with its own will and desires. Rather, it is a tool that can be used for good or ill, depending on who is wielding it and for what purpose. There are several ways in which AI could be used to undermine democracy. AI could be used to manipulate public opinion by spreading false information or by suppressing certain voices. Russian interference in the US midterm 2016 is a notable example of politically targeted advertisement. According to Mueller indictment of the Russian Research Agency, Russian suppression voter campaign targeted African Americans by spreading derogatory communication about Hilary Clinton. AI could also be used to target individuals with personalized messages that are designed to influence their behavior. AI could also be used to rig elections. This could be done by manipulating the voting process itself or by swaying public opinion in favor of a particular candidate. Of course, AI could also be used for more positive purposes, such as increasing voter turnout or making it easier for people to find
information about the candidates and issues. But even if AI is used for good, there is a risk that it could be used to unfairly advantage one side over the other. The bottom line is that AI is a tool, and like any tool, it can be used for good or ill. We need to be aware of the potential risks and challenges posed by AI and take steps to ensure that it is used in a way that upholds democracy, rather than undermines it.
*Arfa Khan MPhil scholar in American Studies and International Relations at Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad.