How SAM Chatbot Can Change Political Life of New Zealand

Valeriia Kyselova
Account Manager

Tech in Asia resource was interested if people would vote for a politician who is not a person, but a chat-bot? Such an idea of startup appeared in New Zealand.

The algorithm named SAM knows everything about New Zealand’s news agenda, figures and facts, and how a real politician gives full answers, while they are vague and incomplete.

SAM does not have the experience of a real politician, but people already liked it: at least it cannot do any harm. Unlike actual politicians, the chatbot is always available for dialogue; anyone can text it in English through a Facebook account.

The bot is ready to discuss the problems of health, education and other social issues. The dialogues on global matters eventually will be tied to real life in New Zealand. Bot knows the statistics, understands the current state of affairs and is ready to share this information with the user.

It is evident that SAM in its current form is not able to perform all the functions of a real politician. But the project, instead, asks the society a question and makes you think about the future, the functions of power, etc.

The idea of the chatbot is to show what is happening with politics now and how it will be transformed later.

There is an opinion that AI in political matters can ensure impartiality. For an algorithm without any feelings and emotions, all people will be equally important. But it raises other questions, whether the person will convey his or her ideas about the world and his or her stereotypes to the algorithm.

For example, a bot from Microsoft, capable of self-training, in just 24 hours can become a racist and a sexist. So SAM makes you think about the ideal policy of the future: digital, unbiased and fair. Today, when the real AI is only being formed, there is a chance to create something that will help people.

If you forgot about the philosophical side of creating an AI-policy, the developers of SAM say that today it can bring real benefits to society.

In other words, AI chatbot is a useful tool for collecting statistics and accounting data for public opinion.

During the conversation with the algorithm on urgent problems, a person can express essential and exciting problems. When this data is analyzed, then real human power can reduce the gap in society, solve fundamental problems.

Therefore the chatbot can become an intermediary between politicians and people.

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