Artificial Intelligence (AI) is impressive and thrives on innovation. It has the potential to alter governance practices across the world and this article is an attempt to illustrate this simple yet underdeveloped fact. The time has come to realize the true potential of AI and assess its impact on governance. While it is still unclear how politics and AI are aligned, it is still worth discussing where and how these two divergent strands of thought can converge.
Interestingly, Politics+AI is a great medium to understand how politics and AI can converge and change politics, policy and governance. For starters, AI may change the way we think and reflect and develop a culture where our understating of what constitutes trust- may considerably see an alteration. Therefore, we are living in a time and age when human trust in national institutions and among states might see a transformation. Progress in the rapidly burgeoning field of AI is likely to bring a variety of benefits to all. In fact, an interesting area of research in this arena could be related to the link between AI and National Security- a hitherto undiscussed area of good governance. A state that believes in good governance is expected to provide security to its citizens and AI seems adept in doing that. It is possible to use AI to ‘predicate a crime based on a person’s propensity to do harm. Statistically derived risk assessments based on age, criminal record and employment will help mitigate crime and help judges to determine which sentences to give
Similarly, the AI ecosystem includes a skilled workforce and knowledgeable management; the digital capability for capturing, handling, and exploiting data; the technical foundation of trust, security, and reliability; and the investment environment and policy framework needed for AI to flourish. The government retains role in pursuing the harder areas of technology that do not deliver rapid returns on investment for the private sector; developing the tools required to establish AI reliability (including trust, explainability, validation, verification, and security) for critical government and national security applications; and developing and strengthening the AI ecosystem. This assessment of AI enables us to understand how AI is closely linked to governance practices and how AI is likely to influence governance in the coming years.
Moreover, AI has tremendous potential to aid the larger governance process because it helps in mitigating existing risks. AI allows us to reduce credit risk and cyber attacks and fraud detection. 1 Similarly, AI is a public good and fosters a great relationship between industry, academia and society. The internet and AI is used in this case within the government to make it a consumer and regulator of automated technologies. Therefore, the world will see an interesting interface between the governments and the automated technologies on a higher scale in the coming years. A good example of this phenomenon is the notion of multipolar governance that companies are now taking note of. Multilateral systems has steered the future course of the global economy and AI models are going to become an inalienable part of the economies of the world in the near future. Therefore, different nation states of the world have launched their own AI initiatives in recent years. For example in 2017-18 alone, different countries like Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, EU Commission, Finland, France, Germany, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, UAE, US, and UK have launched their AI initiatives. A discussion of their AI initiatives singularly is beyond the mandate of this article. I wish to take the case of India though because India wants to make AI inclusive and the initiative #AIforAll is a great initiative with the NITI Aayog arguing in favor of using AI for scientific research while making India an AI garage i.e. if India is made an AI garage, it will be a gateway to AI’s access to the entire developing world. However it is countries like China that AI has received the most overwhelming response with companies like MiningCamp taking the lead in making China a hub of AI and innovation. It is in China that the influence of AI is most visible with a partnership between Chinese state and the companies making AI a potent surveillance tool in the hands of the government. The state acts as a digital panopticon in China and makes itself visible thanks to AI within every available spectrum. Therefore looking at these two crucial examples of India and China, we can infer that AI is like a double edged sword which can work in both positive and negative ways for an existing state and its people.
Therefore, to conclude, one can infer that AI is an invention that has tremendous potential. It is going to be a visible part of our existence in the near future. The convergence of AI and politics is also in the reckoning with different countries taking the initiative to incorporate AI within its existing governance policies. However, it is a double edged sword which can be either be used for the betterment of the country as in the case of India or for meeting state specific objectives like public surveillance as in the case of China. However, it is abundantly clear that AI as a field of automated research is here to stay and flourish.