In the age of AI and algorithms, democracy seems to lose its ground

In 1960, the Democratic Party leaders confronted a problem — how to make their presidential candidate, John F. Kennedy, more popular and likeable among the people of colour and other minorities? Ithiel de Sola Pool, an enterprising MIT political scientist, approached them with a solution: a mathematical predicting model. He would gather data from earlier presidential elections, feed it into a digital processing machine, develop an algorithm to model voting behaviour, predict what policy can produce the most favourable results, and advice the Kennedy campaign to act…


In 1772, a young girl who had killed her employer was sentenced to death in Cambrai, France. But that was not it: she was to be taken to the site of execution on a cart used to collect rubbish; she was to sit on the same chair that her mistress was sitting on at the time of the murder; her right hand was to be cut off and burned; and then she was to receive four blows with the execution weapon — two on the head, one of the left hand and one on the chest. This was followed by…


For most of us, getting motivated is easy: a five-minute Simon Sinek podcast, a small passage from a self-help book, an inspirational quote from Thomas Edison (who is notorious in the scientific world for his self-centeredness and plagiarism) or even Katy Perry’s Firework played in high volume can get us all pumped up to shun procrastination away and start working like a productivity grease monkey. Some people, known as the ‘motivational speakers’, well know this trick — they make a decent living out of it. By providing life-saving million-dollar advice for ‘free’, these men of god guide their listeners through…


AI revolution coupled with Automation will create a Global useless class, comprising billions. From the ostensibly benign laboratories, a menace will emerge which will threaten the Human identity. Algorithms will decide if you are eligible for a job or an insurance grant or are a potential suspect for crime.

What do you envisage when you hear the word ‘Algorithm’? Though I’m not a telepath, I can be quite sure that most of you are imagining a stream of ones and zeroes in green, hurtling across a black background. If I got you right, don’t blame yourself. For most of us…

Asad Baloch

I write sometimes. Reach me out at Asadzehri26@gmail.com

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