Computer Politics

I have an idea for a story. A team of computer scientists conducts an experiment which programs 535 networked computers to analyze input and make collective “decisions” based on the information. One hundred of the computers are designated “senators” and 435 are designated “house members.” During the course of a year, the scientists feed computers information that duplicates information available to the U.S. Congress. The scientists compare the “decisions” made by the computers with actual decisions made by the U.S. Congress; the comparison is shown to the public. The public immediately demands that their elected senators and representatives be replaced by the computers. All’s well for a short time, until the decisions made by the new computerized Congress start looking wonky and utterly at odds with the wishes of the American people. This public dissatisfaction with those decisions parallels a big increase in technology spending by pharmaceutical companies, large insurance companies, gun manufacturers, and other big business. Investigative reporters determine that the increased spending is being used by businesses that managed to replace spending on lobbyists with investments in hackers. I could go on, but won’t.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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