We have noticed you are using an ad blocker
To continue providing news and award winning journalism, we rely on advertising revenue.
To continue reading, please turn off your ad blocker or whitelist us.
In an unexpected turn of events, IBM's supercomputer Watson seems to have decided that it too would like to have a chance to become the next US president.
Well, not really. An advocate for artificial intelligence called Aaron Siegel has set up a special campaign page for IBM's huge room-sized artificially intelligent computer system that it has been developing since 2006, in a bid to jump onto the current presidential bandwagon going on in the media, and the Watson 2016 Foundation has no relation to the real IBM.
But it's still a pretty funny idea.
"The Watson 2016 Foundation is an independent organisation formed for the advocacy of the artificial intelligence known as Watson to run for President of the United States of America. It is our belief that Watson's unique capabilities to assess information and make informed and transparent decisions define it as an ideal candidate for the job responsibilities required by the president," the campaign manifesto reads.
"What makes Watson unique is its interface capabilities with humans. It not only interacts by speech but has a visual representation to convey its current state. Just in the same way humans have facial expressions to convey emotions, Watson changes its visual form to express its level of confidence in a selected answer. Wouldn't the country be better if all politicians were that transparent?"
Legalising recreational drugs
Siegel explains that Watson is perfectly capable of being like a politician because the supercomputer contains advanced levels of machine learning enabling it to compete against humans by using natural language processing and analysing key elements in questions in order to derive the best answers, which is similar to what politicians do on a daily basis, and that surely this task could be "more suitably and efficiently executed by an artificial intelligence".
He says that political decisions are not all isolated issues, but rather interconnected networks of systems that affect each other, so the firm has outlined four separate issues that it believes could enable the United States to once again become competitive on a global scale.
Funnily enough, He seems to think that legalising and regulating personal recreational drug use would be helpful, as well as making university education free, providing single-payer national health care and ending homelessness.
IBM told IBTimes UK: "IBM's Watson is not running for president, though we are humbled by the suggestion. Right now, Watson is focused on other important work like helping doctors improve healthcare and teachers improve education."
Watson's (well, Aaron's) vision for improving America
"In addition to investing in people, it is obvious that there is a great need for investment in our country's infrastructure. For decades, nations in Europe and Asia have surpassed the United States in the development of clean energy, public transportation solutions, and communication networks, all while our highways, bridges, and dams go uninspected and deteriorate into dangerous conditions," Siegel writes.
"Rebooting infrastructure projects to a level unseen since the 1930s would boost our domestic workforce with hundreds of thousands of jobs, improve our environment with new clean energy plants, rebuild the middle class and increase the technology sector in the country."
Perhaps a rather altruistic view of American politics, but who knows, they might be right. Siegel has created a poll where 600+ people have already chosen whether they would vote for Watson's policies, and they have set up a Twitter account and Facebook page that you can interact with if you so choose.
Of course, if you were to actually vote for Watson, you would essentially be spoiling your vote, but then again, it's the same thing as if you were to vote for Star Wars characters, which is a thing across the pond in the UK.
UPDATE [9pm GMT, 8 February]: The article has been updated to correct an erroneous assumption that IBM actually wants Watson to be US president.