If we can trust a robot with our lives to conduct a surgery on a patient; then maybe we can trust the same technology to conduct an accurate, FREE, FAIR & CREDIBLE election?
Look, a surgery is a matter of life and death; while an election is not. So if the human race can opt to trust technology with their own lives; why not trust the same technology with systems and processes that are repetitive without any direct attachment to human life?
I am thinking of a situation where an advanced elections software is able to use big data analytics by aggregating various data points from all citizens eligible to vote and making a decision as to who is best suited to be the country’s next president. The process takes the whole electoral cycle (5 years in Kenya), with data being being collected over the whole period. The software then uses advanced algorithms to automatically generate the next holders of political offices at the end of each term.
ZERO human interference, ZERO elections budget except for the cost of maintaining the software, ZERO emotional attachment to elections & political parties & ZERO deaths due to post election violence.
The big question would be the kind of data this software would be collecting, where it will be collecting it from, how it will aggregate it and how to prevent it from being manipulated by its handlers.
Well, like any hypothesis, the possibilities to the above can be limitless. But for the sake of this debate, we shall assume the following: data collected shall include specific social, economic & political indicators. The point of collection is on online platforms (which therefore means we need to have about 100% technological inclusion for all citizens). As to prevention of manipulation, we can employ the power of machine learning.
Definitely this is a very shallow way of looking at things (especially considering that I am not a techie), but anything remotely imaginable is obviously possible for a creative mind.
The big question on the table today therefore is: How can we automate democracy and eliminate human contamination of the electoral process?
Author: Jeremy Riro