In New Zealand, This AI Politician Takes Questions From The Public

In New Zealand, This AI Politician Takes Questions From The Public
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SAM is an AI that promises accessibility and transparency, and unlike human politicians, is programmed to keep its word

Matt Vitone
  • 11 january 2018

Writing letters or working your way through the phone lines at your representative’s office can often feel like an opaque process in an age where presidents and other politicians communicate more often in tweets than in direct conversation with their constituents. In New Zealand, one entrepreneur has created an AI that helps answer the public question’s directly through social media, making it easier for anyone to participate in political discourse.

The AI, known as SAM, is the creation of Nick Gerritsen, who says he was “driven by the desire to close the gap between what voters want and what politicians promise, and what they actually achieve.” Unlike real politicians, many of whom seem to do their best to be as inaccessible as possible, SAM can answer questions at any time directly through platforms like Facebook Messenger or Twitter.

According to Gerritsen, SAM’s goal is to act as a representative for all New Zealanders, and it evolves based on voter input. By analyzing the views and opinions it receives through questions, the AI is better able to assess the impact of potential decisions, helping to promote better policy for everyone. While SAM’s conversational abilities are currently still being developed and tested, Gerritsen says his ultimate goal would be to get SAM to run for Prime Minister in New Zealand’s next elections in 2020.

SAM


Lead Image: Raised hands via Shutterstock

Writing letters or working your way through the phone lines at your representative’s office can often feel like an opaque process in an age where presidents and other politicians communicate more often in tweets than in direct conversation with their constituents. In New Zealand, one entrepreneur has created an AI that helps answer the public question’s directly through social media, making it easier for anyone to participate in political discourse.

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