Emerging Technologies

Would AI be better at governing than politicians?

Honda's latest version of the Asimo humanoid robot shakes hands during a presentation in Zaventem near Brussels July 16, 2014. Honda introduced in Belgium an improved version of its Asimo humanoid robot that it says has enhanced intelligence and hand dexterity, and is able to run at a speed of some 9 kilometres per hour (5.6 miles per hour).  REUTERS/Francois Lenoir (BELGIUM - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS SOCIETY) - GM1EA7G1KHA01

Around the world, citizens have expressed a growing disillusionment with democracy. Image: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Jackie Bischof
Deputy Editor, Quartz
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Emerging Technologies?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Artificial Intelligence is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Artificial Intelligence

A new survey on Europeans’ attitudes towards technology found that a quarter of people would prefer it if policy decisions were made by artificial intelligence instead of politicians.

The Center for the Governance of Change at Spain’s IE University polled 2,500 adults in the UK, Spain, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, and the Netherlands in January. The results reflect an intense anxiety about the changes brought about by advances in tech, with more than half of respondents worried that jobs would be replaced by robots, and 70% saying that unchecked technological innovation could do more harm than good to society. Respondents also expressed concerns about the impact of digital relationships replacing human contact as more people spend time online.

Have you read?

Perhaps most interestingly, a quarter of the respondents said they would prefer AI to guide decisions about governance of their country over politicians.

“This mindset, which probably relates to the growing mistrust citizens feel towards governments and politicians, constitutes a significant questioning of the European model of representative democracy, since it challenges the very notion of popular sovereignty,” Diego Rubio, the executive director for IE’s Center for the Governance of Change, said in a statement.

Around the world, citizens have expressed a growing disillusionment with democracy, and an increased scepticism that their voice has an impact on political decisions. But algorithmic decisions aren’t a problem-free solution: they can be embedded with the prejudice and bias of their programmers or manipulated to achieve specific outcomes, making the results as potentially problematic as the ones made by humans.

The study also found that respondents expected governments to reduce the disruption that technology might have on their lives with regulation, limits on automation, and support for people affected by job losses. This “highlights the paradox in which we live,” the authors wrote. “People are disillusioned with governments, yet at the same time ask them to tackle the societal and economic negative effects that emerging technologies might have.”

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Emerging TechnologiesGlobal CooperationFourth Industrial Revolution
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Responsible AI: 6 steps businesses should take now

Prasad Sankaran

June 19, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum