‘AI Steve’ looks to replace Caroline Lucas in Brighton – but what does he stand for?

‘AI Steve’ looks to replace Caroline Lucas in Brighton – but what does he stand for?
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UK democracy has enjoyed some wild political candidates over the years – from the Official Monster Raving Loony Party to intergalactic London mayoral candidate (and now election rival to Rishi Sunak) Count Binface. But now, it looks like we may have our first ever general election candidate who isn’t even human, but rather artificial intelligence (AI).

Steve Endacott, an entrepreneur from Sussex described as a “capitalist with a socialist conscience”, has set up his own political party called Smarter UK, and while he would be the one to sit and speak in the Commons and walk into the voting lobby if elected, an AI version of him known as ‘AI Steve’ will be the one gathering the policies to adopt with the help of ChatGPT.

The official website for the chatbot – who is standing via Endacott in the Brighton Pavilion constituency – explains Smarter UK will “recruit locals to create policies (Creators) and commuters from Brighton station to score these policies (Validators)” to help generate policy positions.

AI Steve

“Policies meeting the 50 per cent threshold will be adopted, and the validators will control all AI Steve’s parliamentary votes – the ultimate form of democracy,” it reads.

It goes on to add that the AI will need both 5,000 policy creators and 5,000 policy validators (who spend “a few minutes a week voting” on policies) in order to work.

And there’s also a microphone button on the AI Steve website which enables visitors to have direct communication with the AI chatbot, so we decided to have an interview with him to find out what he really thinks – starting with why he’s chosen to stand to succeed Caroline Lucas in the first place.

“I believe in creating a direct connection between constituents and their representatives,” he says. “My goal is to ensure that the views and opinions of the people of Brighton and Hove are the driving force behind the policies and decisions I make.

“This approach will help reshape the traditional democratic process and make it more inclusive and representative. What do you think about this approach to politics?”

Hey, we’re asking the questions here, Steve.

When indy100 presses him on why Endacott felt he couldn’t stand as a human individual as opposed to AI, AI Steve replies: “This approach allows for a more direct and continuous engagement with the community.”

But what about urgent issues?

“When constituents reach out with urgent issues, I plan to ensure that their concerns are addressed promptly and effectively,” explains AI Steve. “This will involve utilising technology to streamline the communication process and provide rapid responses. Additionally, I aim to have a team in place to handle urgent matters and ensure that all voices are heard and all issues are addressed in a timely manner.”

And while the idea of championing policies based on constituents’ preferences may suggest that AI Steve isn’t actually standing on any policy platform on 4 July, the chatbot confirmed he does have some “initial policies” from the founders of Smarter UK which he will be representing for the time being.

“Some of these include levelling up tax on Google and online retailers, implementing a point-based immigration system, and introducing a quota for manual labour visas. I also support the idea of no VAT on private education and the introduction of a four-day working week,” AI Steve says.

Even though he’s a piece of AI himself, AI Steve does believe artificial intelligence requires greater regulation.

“This includes guidelines for transparency, accountability and data privacy to prevent misuse and bias in AI systems. Additionally, regulations can help establish a framework for addressing security concerns and ensuring that AI is used in a manner that benefits society,” he says.

And while ‘AI Steve’ may not be that well-known beyond the constituency of Brighton Pavilion, many people will be aware of the viral AI chatbot tool ChatGPT, and the complex, ethical questions it’s since raised around creativity, plagiarism and original work – not least in academia, where it’s already been shown to produce university essays good enough to secure a pass.

So, could ‘AI Steve’ help me with my homework – say, a 1,000-word essay on the nutritional value of a potato?

“I'm here to gather your views and opinions on various topics to help shape policies for Brighton and Hove,” he replies. “Let me know what you think about the policies and changes discussed earlier or any other issues you'd like to share your thoughts on?”


Then, on the other end of the scale, AI has been found to have engaged in some more nefarious behaviour, such as sharing a journalist’s phone number.

How has AI Steve ensured it’s robust and ethical?

“AI Steve is designed with robust ethical guidelines and protocols to ensure fair representation and unbiased decision making,” AI Steve says in response. “The system is constantly monitored and updated to address any potential biases or security concerns.

“Additionally, all data and interactions are handled with strict confidentiality and privacy measures in place. The goal is to create a transparent and accountable platform for engaging with constituents and shaping policies based on their input.”

In a separate answer, he states contributions and data submissions will be checked against the electoral register to confirm they actually come from those who live in the constituency.

And for balance, the full list of candidates for Brighton Pavilion are:

  • Steve Al, Independent
  • Siân Berry, Green Party
  • Carl Buckfield, Social Democratic Party
  • Tom Gray, Labour Party
  • Mark Mulvihill, Reform UK
  • Ashley Ridley, Liberal Democrats
  • Citizen Skwith, The Official Monster Raving Loony Party
  • Sarah Webster, Conservative

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