Asymmetries: participatory democracy after AI

Article by Gianluca Sgueo in Grand Continent (FR): “When it comes to AI, the scientific community expresses divergent opinions. Some argue that it could enable democratic governments to develop more effective and possibly more inclusive policies. Policymakers who use AI to analyse and process large volumes of digital data would be in a good position to make decisions that are closer to the needs and expectations of communities of citizens. In the view of those who view ‘government by algorithms’ favourably, AI creates the conditions for more effective and regular democratic interaction between public actors and civil society players. Other authors, on the other hand, emphasise the many critical issues raised by the ‘implantation’ of such a complex technology in political and social systems that are already highly complex and problematic. Some authors believe that AI could undermine even democratic values, by perpetuating and amplifying social inequalities and distrust in democratic institutions – thus weakening the foundations of the social contract. But if everyone is right, is no one right? Not necessarily. These two opposing conceptions give us food for thought about the relationship between algorithms and democracies…(More)”.