29 Mar 2019
Do you know that an Indian Artificial Intelligence research firm made accurate predictions about the US election outcome successfully for 3 times?
That is true. The prediction was made by MogIA.
Isn’t it amazing that AI can be so accurate? It is affecting the daily lives and it can impact democracy as well.
Artificial Intelligence is affecting elections and we will be focussing on how it can change the future of democracy.
How is that going to happen? Why AI?
Artificial intelligence can be used at multiple stages in an election. In each aspect of the election, AI can be used.
General software or mobile apps can be used to do repetitive tasks. But complex tasks, which need logical thinking, we need the help of Artificial Intelligence. The main purpose of using AI is to harness its power to find patterns, predict future and create an action plan based on that. AI can be used in policy making and decision making as well.
What is the process of Election and how AI can help in the process of election?
The process of election starts by the announcement by Election commission of India. Once the announcement is made, the model code of conduct comes into action. So the major thing that is important for a successful election is the fair participation of candidates and voters. AI can be helpful in both the aspects for candidates as well as the voters. First, let’s talk about AI for voters.
AI For Voters
The voters need motivation or eradication of problems to vote normally. There are millions of people who are not registered to vote. Although the government is making efforts so that there is maximum participation in voting. But people may not participate in voting. Using AI, the government can find the problem areas which are hindering the people to participate in voting. One can even pinpoint which constituency has low voter turn out. Armed with such kind information, the government can put an effort to eradicate the problems and increase the voter turn out.
The democratic election may also face problems from candidates who may violate the code of conduct and use unfair means to sway the mind of people using digital media. But social media giants like Facebook is taking steps in the right direction by plans of opening 24X7 operation center ahead of Lok Sabha election 2019.
For a change let’s keep the focus on possibilities.
For candidates, how AI can be helpful?
Candidates have to follow an elaborate procedure in an election. They have to file nomination, ensure that their nomination is not rejected and their promotion.
For the sake of promotion, candidates have to ensure that they adhere to strict guidelines of Election Commission of India.
With limited options, they get very little opportunity to stand out among all the other competitors. There are many candidates who misuse AI to manipulate voters just like Cambridge Analytica scandal in US election. But we are not dealing with unethical aspects of AI.
There are better ways to implement AI for the sake of providing better value for a voter. The candidates can leverage the power of AI to understand their constituency in greater detail. They can understand the underlying issues that are bothering the majority of people in his constituency. Based on that, the candidate and their political party can create election manifesto. That election manifesto will be personalized and will be catering to the specific needs of the voters. It will be a win-win situation for both candidates as well as voters. The problem of voters will be solved and candidates will increase their chances of winning ethically.
The candidates can also gauge the sentiment of people regarding themselves. Sometimes it's not possible to gauge such data online but groundwork can help in such a scenario.
Political parties can deploy AI-powered apps which can be used by their party members to gather data and understand the underlying issues.
This will hit two targets with one shot. First, the party will be able to gather insights. Second, the political party will be able to incentivize the party members. This will ensure only the deserving party workers who are actually doing work, gets a party ticket. This will encourage political party members to work more ethically for the betterment of their party.
AI can influence many aspects of the election. But you should always keep in mind the fact that AI is just a tool. It’s we who will decide how we are going to use the tool. It’s the intention and the end goal that people want to achieve from the tools that will matter.
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