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RE: AI, Democracy & E-Estonia

From: <owen.ambur@verizon.net>
Date: Sat, 27 Apr 2019 23:50:37 -0400
To: "'W3C AIKR CG'" <public-aikr@w3.org>
Message-ID: <040501d4fd75$8ad45840$a07d08c0$@verizon.net>
Transparency and, more specifically, publishing performance plans and reports in open, standard, machine-readable format can take us a fair distance in the direction of human understanding.


However, as you note, Paola, we need the help of machine-intelligence to discover and keep track of the most important of the myriad actions that may significantly affect us.  In the cyberage, it is humanly impossible for us to do so without such assistance, at least until it may be too late to do anything about those actions.


I’m trying to do my part.  For example, Milton’s plan is now available in StratML format at http://stratml.us/drybridge/index.htm#RWI


BTW, while technological singularity <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity>  may be a long way off, the disproportionate application of the power of technology by human beings is apparent every day.  For example, guns don’t kill people but people with guns, knives, and bombs do so quite routinely and self-righteously.  In Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion, Paul Bloom says, “When some people think about empathy, they think about kindness.  I think about war.” (p. 188)




From: Paola Di Maio <paola.dimaio@gmail.com> 
Sent: Saturday, April 27, 2019 10:12 PM
To: W3C AIKR CG <public-aikr@w3.org>
Subject: Re: AI, Democracy & E-Estonia


Milton and Owen


This sounds important


That Estonia has found a good democracy model and use of AI. which is being implemented worldwide

and that some observers argue thats not democracy because theres some 

opaque algo and undemocratic process behind the democracy


Important because for most people who dont have much time to look into all the details , including me, it s easy to take things at face value - '


the danger is that we may realise too late that we have been voting and paying for

essentially a secret state trap cloaked in democratic clothes 

:-)    This may be happening worldwide


Without further study, we may never know either way


Milton, perhaps since you live in Aruba which is a small island currently implementing the Estonian model can look more into this and let us know


At a minimum we can document and take note of a possible dichotomy


Good case, 






On Sun, Apr 28, 2019 at 1:05 AM <owen.ambur@verizon.net <mailto:owen.ambur@verizon.net> > wrote:

Estonia’s eGov efforts are impressive indeed, as documented in the StratML rendition of their e-estonia plan, at http://stratml.us/drybridge/index.htm#EE 

However, it only contains one reference to “democracy” – in the context of Estonia’s court system:

 <http://stratml.us/carmel/iso/EEwStyle.xml#_d986a7e6-caf8-11e7-8c65-ba3fc06f01ff> Objective 3.3: e-court - Automate court processes.

Other Information: Nowadays, life is fast and justice procedures -- the cornerstones of a democracy -- should be just as prompt...

Since democracy is majoritarianism, implied reference is also made in e-estonia  <http://stratml.us/carmel/iso/EEwStyle.xml#_d986b29a-caf8-11e7-8c65-ba3fc06f01ff> Objective 5.1: i-voting - Allow voters to cast their ballots from any internet-connected computer.

However, with reference to the EU, Edward Luce has noted it is not a democracy. He says its anonymous committees set the rules and are “virtually impervious to democratic control.” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/re-imagining-liberalism-owen-ambur/  A lot of people not only in Britain but also other European countries apparently agree with him.  They may not look favorably on the thought of an AI-assisted bureaucracy becoming even further disconnected from them.

Openness and inclusiveness are important values.  We should understand and be realistic about the strengths, weaknesses, and appropriate usages of majoritarianism, which by definition is *exclusive* of minorities (as all too apparent to conservatives in the ivory towers of academic and so-called “mainstream” media circles).

Coincidentally, I just learned about Ben Franklin’s description of democracy:  “two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.” https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/carol-roth-bernie-sanders-democratic-socialism

The population of Estonia is similar to the city of Dallas, Texas.  https://www.moving.com/tips/the-top-10-largest-us-cities-by-population/  The usage of AI to support so-called “democratic” governance in Estonia takes on a much different hue than in, say, China or NoKo.  While Dunbar’s Number <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar%27s_number>  may no longer apply in the cyberage, the risk of misuse of power increases with span of control <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Span_of_control> .  https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/absolute-power-corrupts-absolutely.html | https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_road_to_hell_is_paved_with_good_intentions#Studies | http://ambur.net/French <http://ambur.net/French&Raven.htm> &Raven.htm




From: ProjectParadigm-ICT-Program <metadataportals@yahoo.com <mailto:metadataportals@yahoo.com> > 
Sent: Friday, April 26, 2019 8:10 PM
To: owen.ambur@verizon.net <mailto:owen.ambur@verizon.net> ; W3C AIKR CG <public-aikr@w3.org <mailto:public-aikr@w3.org> >
Cc: 'Pradeep Jain' <pradeep.jain@ictect.com <mailto:pradeep.jain@ictect.com> >; 'Russell Ruggiero' <russell_ruggiero@hotmail.com <mailto:russell_ruggiero@hotmail.com> >; 'Hari Sandeep Reddy' <harisandeep.vallela@gmail.com <mailto:harisandeep.vallela@gmail.com> >; Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org <mailto:sandro@w3.org> >
Subject: Re: AI & Democracy


I recommend youl look at eGovernance and how it will benefit from using AI.

See “Artificial Intelligence is the next step for e-governance in Estonia”, State adviser reveals — e-Estonia <https://e-estonia.com/artificial-intelligence-is-the-next-step-for-e-governance-state-adviser-reveals> 




This country practically invented what is now the gold standard for eGovernment, and provides guidance for  more than 50 countries around the world on eGovernment, including for my own native country, the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba, which is on a fast track to becoming the most advanced Small Island Developing State on planet Earth.


The European Union is in the process of aligning its AI and eGovernment policies to make an open and more inclusive society possible, which IMHO is what true democracy is all about.



Milton Ponson
GSM: +297 747 8280
PO Box 1154, Oranjestad
Aruba, Dutch Caribbean
Project Paradigm: Bringing the ICT tools for sustainable development to all stakeholders worldwide through collaborative research on applied mathematics, advanced modeling, software and standards development


On Friday, April 26, 2019 12:00 AM, "owen.ambur@verizon.net <mailto:owen.ambur@verizon.net> " <owen.ambur@verizon.net <mailto:owen.ambur@verizon.net> > wrote:


This article suggests AI may threaten democracy:  https://gcn.com/articles/2019/04/24/ai-threats-democracy.aspx?s=gcntech_250419


However, to the extent that democracy is majoritarianism (rule of the majority <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy> ), AI might be used to increase its effectiveness – both in shaping the views of the majority (groupthink) as well as oppressing minorities who fail to adopt the majoritarian point of view.  A case might be made that not only the social media but also the so-called “mainstream” media have been doing so.  Conservatives certainly believe that to be the case, with more than a little justification in light of the well-documented biases of the media.


Thus, democracy itself, unfettered, might be a  bigger part of the problem than the solution, and while Churchill may have been right in his time, he did not live in the cyberage.  https://richardlangworth.com/worst-form-of-government


I’m thinking about writing an article entitled “Beyond Democracy and the Rule of Law” positing that we: 


a) now have the means to do better than majoritarianism, and 

b) already have too many laws, regulations, and guidelines imposed from the top down in narrative format and far too few actual self-expressed performance plans published in open, standard, machine-readable format to be socially supported and enforced by peers.


At a minimum, the tech giants who are helping authoritarian governments adopt AI should be expected to develop and openly publish algorithms addressing the rules under which they believe it may be appropriate for anyone to attempt to impose their will upon others.


See also http://connectedcommunity.net/ & http://aboutthem.info/ 



Received on Sunday, 28 April 2019 03:51:04 UTC

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