Exploring promises of AI applications for civil society participation in policy-making processes at the national and international levels.
After over 15 years of development, the Federal Council decided to temporarily put on hold the implementation of the electronic vote in Switzerland. This decision illustrates well the difficulty to define the role of digital technologies in liberal democracies. On one hand, the declining rates of political participation calls for new instruments to foster citizen engagement. On the other hand, rising cybersecurity concerns and disinformation campaigns force governments to scale down e-voting initiatives.
When discussing the role of digital technologies in liberal democracies, artificial intelligence (AI) is probably the most controversial. This technology triggers the greatest hopes (e.g. AI can help tackle global issues such as climate change) and at the same time raises many concerns (e.g. will AI eventually take over political negotiations and make all decisions?). If it is not clear yet what the future of this technology will be, it is nevertheless crucial to propose some orientations that can benefit citizens and liberal democracies at large. Since the future of democracies is questioned by some scholars, political leaders and tech entrepreneurs, this project wishes to explore if an AI application can foster civil society participation in policy-making processes.
This project is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. Grant number: 190509