by Tim Reyes
note: This article was published 2 days before election day.
It was a largely unanticipated convergence. Malcontent grew steadily over a 30 year period and technology continued its Moore’s Law advance. Technology and a world with falling borders led to a lost generation of workers in the USA. At the same time, from the high technology, a new economy emerged and a new middle class.
The convergence of social changes and advancing technology led to the first female president of the U.S. and in the same person, effectively its last politician. She represented the beginning of the end of the political system that had evolved from the American Revolution two centuries earlier.
Beginning with her husband’s election to the high office, the difference between winning and losing the presidency grew consistently narrower. The difference between winning and losing led to unrest among citizens. The differences between the two major parties turned to grey.
On the other hand, technology’s march forward was creating artificial intelligence (AI) that was being applied to an increasingly broader range of problems. Answers with greater fidelity were being returned.
AI began to tackle the complexity of not just a corporation but a whole economy which quickly had to be expanded to how an economy dove-tailed into the World economy emerging in the early 21st Century.
Virtual currency had established its legitimacy. Now the web began to develop the electronic vote. Like virtual currency, the E-Vote had modest beginnings. It was first used by private organizations and then local governments.
The E-Vote expanded worldwide and smaller more progressive countries were the first to adopt its use at their national level.
Large corporations with economists and control of the most advanced algorithms for AI began to apply their systems to modeling whole economies. It quickly progressed until several competing systems went online that defined the state of the existing economy and also provided decision-making and fast-forwarding the modeled economic system to predict the future.
Like the algorithms that had taken decades to mature and forecast the weather, the AI economic models and decision-making matured. However, rather than decades, with key breakthroughs in machine learning, the development unfolded in just a few years.
Suddenly, like Kasparov vs Deep Blue, politicians and the bureaucrats they employed were competing against AI engines. And like Kasparov, they claimed early victories but those quickly disappeared.
A convergence beyond their control became apparent. The average citizen could vote electronically on any issue facing our culture or economy. They could consider any level of explanation and decision tree with the help of AI on the net. And they could e-vote. E-votes were applied to local and regional problems and then the question of national elections arose.
Due to homogeneity of the two political parties, several national elections had seen only a couple of percentage point differences. Consequently, the Electoral College continued to be the clear winner. The Electoral College was selecting leaders and not the vote of the citizenry.
So the electronic vote reached the national level. The elections remained very close for the same reasons but a group of large states had joined forces and had abolished the Electoral College system.
Now the final shoe needed to drop. AI made inroads into managing cities and counties and was ready to take on a whole national economy.
On the Web, simulated economies had continued to be run that showed how well AI could manage an economic system but also how poorly politicians made decisions affecting generations young and old.
Groups also held yearly national elections with propositions — some that proposed abolition of the political party system. In its place, a system involving managers would be developed. The managers would base their actions on the solutions generated by the advanced AI economic systems within the supercomputers of several of the most prominent corporations.
The leaders of these corporations had foreseen what their AI could become and were expressing their willingness to open their systems and effectively donate decades of R&D to the Nation’s socio-economic system.
And the moment of convergence arrived. The electorate e-voted to adopt AI management, to dismiss the political party system and create a government of managers. The question had been answered as in times past. Do we really need a king? Should leaders rule for life? Are politicians necessary for self-government?
The managers were not elected but rather selected once they were out of formal education and progressed up managerial ladders with the guidance of their peers and AI. Each’s mandate was that they be compliant and apply the rules of governing and operating the socioeconomic system.
The last politician was steadfast — determined to break the glass ceiling and become America’s first female president. She had stood beside her man such that a sure-fire governor of a third world state could rise to become US president.
He had governed over an economy that quickly evolved through the influence of computers and the World Wide Web.
In the quarter century that followed, a black male president was elected. After nearly one hundred years since woman suffrage in the U.S., a woman ascended to the highest office but her greatest legacy in retrospect was not as the first female but rather as the last politician, the beginning of the end of a system and emergence of true democracy.
While the economy became firmly embedded in the actions of artificial intelligence, problems remained that humans knew were too personal to leave to AI of an advanced supercomputer. Humans and AI would both recognize such decision points.
The electorate with the e-vote paused at forks in the road. The citizenry chose roads less taken and sometimes chose the tried and true. With the new order, a great experiment had finally recreated itself. Once again, the American system was based on leading edge concepts and methodologies.