Artificial Intelligence, Authoritarianism and the Future of Political Systems

In February 2017 Scientific American featured a special issue, which revolved around the question: "will democracy survive big data and artificial intelligence." According to the issue, humanity is undergoing a profound technological transformation, and the advent of large-scale social and behavioral automation would change how human societies will be organized and managed. In this report, Akin Unver argues that political systems, elections, decision-making, and citizenship too, are increasingly being driven by aspects or by-products of automation and algorithmic systems at different systemic levels. These systems range from targeted political advertisements to facial recognition, from automated interactions that intensify polarization to internet-based mass-participation opinion polls that can easily be skewed by factors of automation.

Akin Unver is a Visiting Fellow of the Centre for Technology and Global Affairs; Cyber Fellow, Centre for Economic and Foreign Policy Research (EDAM) Istanbul; and Assistant Professor of International Relations at Kadir Has University.


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