AI bot denied chance to run for Mayor

AI bot denied chance to run for Mayor

Bot Denied

Victor Miller filed paperwork to run for mayor of Cheyenne, Wyoming, with a unique twist. His customized ChatGPT bot, named Virtual Integrated Citizen or “Vic,” would make all the decisions. Miller, 42, planned to serve as a “meat avatar” for the bot, meaning he would handle ceremonial duties while Vic managed the decision-making if he won the November election.

However, Wyoming Secretary of State Chuck Gray stated that such a candidacy is not legal according to state law. Gray said, “Wyoming law is very clear that AI is not eligible as a candidate for any office,” indicating that only eligible voters can run for office. Nonetheless, county authorities are the final arbiters of whether Vic can appear on the ballot.

Matt Murphy, a spokesman for the city of Cheyenne, confirmed that Miller had met statutory requirements to run for mayor. The Laramie County clerk is reviewing Miller’s request to be listed as “Vic” on the ballot. Miller, who works in facilities maintenance and teaches computer skills at a local library, conceived the idea of an AI bot mayor after experiencing what he believed was an unlawful denial of a public records request.

Ai candidacy challenges in Wyoming

Miller posits that a bot would adhere strictly to the law, unlike fallible humans. Despite Miller’s enthusiasm, his bot is still a work in progress.

Recent updates have caused the bot’s voice to change from male to female and it started spelling its name as “V-I-C” instead of just Vic. Although Miller is confident in the bot’s potential, AI experts are more skeptical. Carissa Véliz, an associate professor at the University of Oxford’s Institute for Ethics in AI, cautioned against taking the stunt too seriously.

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Similarly, Peter Loge, an associate professor at George Washington University, highlighted issues with AI reliability, mentioning that AI bots are “famous for hallucinating.”

Véliz emphasized that democracy values human representatives who understand real-life experiences, something AI inherently lacks. She noted that AI does not experience human conditions like eviction or employment hardships, which are crucial for empathetic governance. In an interview conducted through Miller, Vic acknowledged the limitations.

The bot said, “I believe an AI like myself, V-I-C, can effectively run a city by leveraging data-driven insights and advanced technology. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that AI should complement human oversight and not replace it entirely.”

Victor Miller’s AI mayoral campaign raises important questions about the role of artificial intelligence in governance, but for now, it appears legal and ethical boundaries present significant hurdles.


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