This forum has had a lot of discussion about robots and automation eliminating jobs. This may be the ultimate example or maybe it properly belong in the "OTHER" forum. What do you think? BTW, as far as I'm concerned, except in the most generic sense, this thread has absolutely nothing to do with Trump or the past Obama, Bush, Clinton administrations, unless you want it to. Personally, I don't think that the American public would ever allow it happen, but the next to impossible has happened before in politics. In fact, last November. _____ Could a Robot Be President? Politico - July 08, 2017 By Michael Linhorst Yes, it sounds nuts. But some techno-optimists really believe a computer could make better decisions for the country—without the drama and shortsightedness we accept from our human leaders. Power plays, intrigues and scandals surrounding any President are, at the very least, distracting for a person with the weight of the free world on his shoulders. But if his fury at the Russia scandal and insecurity about his election are stealing time from the important decisions of the presidency, Trump is by no means the first commander in chief whose emotions or personality have gotten in the way of the job. From Warren Harding’s buddies enriching themselves in Teapot Dome to Richard Nixon’s Watergate hubris to Bill Clinton nearly getting kicked out of office because he couldn’t control his base urges, it’s human weakness—jealousy, greed, lust, nepotism—that most often upend presidencies. Now, a small group of scientists and thinkers believes there could be an alternative, a way to save the president—and the rest of us—from him- or herself. As soon as technology advances far enough, they think we should put a computer in charge of the country. Yes, it sounds nuts. But the idea is that artificial intelligence could make America’s big, complicated decisions better than any person could, without the drama or shortsightedness that we grudgingly accept from our human presidents. If you’re imagining a Terminator-style machine sitting behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office, think again. The president would more likely be a computer in a closet somewhere, chugging away at solving our country’s toughest problems. Unlike a human, a robot could take into account vast amounts of data about the possible outcomes of a particular policy. It could foresee pitfalls that would escape a human mind and weigh the options more reliably than any person could—without individual impulses or biases coming into play. We could wind up with an executive branch that works harder, is more efficient and responds better to our needs than any we’ve ever seen. There’s not yet a well-defined or cohesive group pushing for a robot in the Oval Office—just a ragtag bunch of experts and theorists who think that futuristic technology will make for better leadership, and ultimately a better country. Mark Waser, for instance, a longtime artificial intelligence researcher who works for a think tank called the Digital Wisdom Institute, says that once we fix some key kinks in artificial intelligence, robots will make much better decisions than humans can. Natasha Vita-More, chairwoman of Humanity+, a nonprofit that “advocates the ethical use of technology to expand human capacities,” expects we’ll have a “posthuman” president someday—a leader who does not have a human body but exists in some other way, such as a human mind uploaded to a computer. Zoltan Istvan, who made a quixotic bid for the presidency last year as a “transhumanist,” with a platform based on a quest for human immortality, is another proponent of the robot presidency—and he really thinks it will happen. “An A.I. president cannot be bought off by lobbyists,” he says. “It won’t be influenced by money or personal incentives or family incentives. It won’t be able to have the nepotism that we have right now in the White House. These are things that a machine wouldn’t do.” The idea of a robot ruler has been floating around in science fiction for decades. In 1950, Isaac Asimov’s short story collection I, Robot envisioned a world in which machines appeared to have consciousness and human-level intelligence. They were controlled by the “Three Laws of Robotics.” (First: “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.”) Super-advanced A.I. machines in Iain Banks’ Culture series act as the government, figuring out how best to organize society and distribute resources. Pop culture—like, more recently, the movie Her—has been hoping for human-like machines for a long time. But so far, anything close to a robot president was limited to those kinds of stories. Maybe not for much longer. In fact, true believers like Istvan say our computer leader could be here in less than 30 years. *** Of course, replacing a human with a robot in the White House would not be simple, and even those pushing the idea admit there are serious obstacles. For starters, how a machine leader would fit in with our democratic republic is anybody’s guess. Istvan, for one, envisions regular national elections, in which voters would decide on the robot’s priorities and how it should come out on moral issues like abortion; the voters would then have a chance in the next election to change those choices. The initial programming of the system would no doubt be controversial, and the programmers would probably need to be elected, too. All of this would require amending the Constitution, Istvan acknowledges. From a technical point of view, artificial intelligence is not yet smart enough to run the country. The list of what robots can currently accomplish is long—from diagnosing diseases and driving cars to winning “Jeopardy!” and answering questions on your smartphone—and it’s rapidly expanding. But as they exist now, all of our A.I. systems use “narrow” intelligence, meaning they need to be programmed specifically to perform any given task. A president, of course, does more than one narrow thing. “If you’re president of the United States, what bubbles up to your level are the problems that nobody else in the hierarchy was able to solve. You get stuck with the hardest nuts to crack,” says Illah Nourbakhsh, a robotics professor at Carnegie Mellon who previously worked on robots for NASA. “And the hardest nuts to crack are the most meta-cognitive, the ones with the fewest examples to go by, and the ones where you have to use the most creative thinking.” To accomplish all that, a robot president would need what scientists call artificial general intelligence, also known as “strong A.I.”—intelligence as broad, creative and flexible as a human’s. That’s the kind of A.I. that Istvan and others are referring to when they talk about robot presidents. Strong A.I. isn’t here yet, but some experts think it’s coming soon. “I am one of those people who believe that you’re going to get human-level intelligence much, much, much sooner than most people think,” Waser says. “Around 2008, I said that it would occur close to 2025. Ten years later, I don’t see any reason why I would modify that estimate.” Vita-More agrees, predicting we could have an early version of strong A.I. within 10 or 15 years. But that optimism requires a key assumption: that we will soon reach a time when computers can solve their own problems—what scientists call the “technological singularity.” At that point, computers would become smarter than humans and could design new computers that are even smarter, which would then design computers that are smarter still. Nourbakhsh says, however, that he doesn’t think all the technical problems involved in building better and better computers can be solved by machines. Some require new discoveries in chemistry or the invention of new types of material to use in building these supersmart computers. _____ Continued in next post due to size limitation.