Algocracy

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Algocracy is the concept of organisational decision making through algorithms. It was coined in 2006 by A. Aneesh in a political governance context.[1]

Historical applications

Many proven political and decision making processes can be viewed as applications of algocracies. For example, an election could be considered an expression of the rules which allow:

  • Political parties to exist as legal entities
  • Suffrage e.g. of citizens over 18 years of age
  • Regional electoral processes, such as a FPTP or a simply majority after AV
  • National electoral processes, such as the rules of forming majority and minority governments and the integrated or separate election of an executive
  • Fund raising rules
  • Media rules

Additionally, political parties themselves apply their own rules around:

  • Premiership and affiliation rules[2]
  • Regional and national candidate selection procedures
  • Policy processes

Change any of these variables, as is often done and the 'algorithm' of how an election is contested will be affected accordingly.

Contemporary applications

The matching of organ donors to waiting recipients is already performed by algorithm. Factors such a seriousness of condition, age, geographic location attempt to continually optimise this market.

There is heavy use of algorithms in services like Uber and shipping and logistics companies, as well as processes such as security checks and speeding fines.[3]

Politics is starting to adopt data-driven services for automating a lot of low level decision making.[4]

Future applications

The growth of such decision making methods seems to know no limit, with even trade unions proposed to be automated, leading to criticism of Silicon Valley's priorities.[5]

John Danaher's Algocracy and the Transhumanist Project seeks to evaluate the interaction between humans and artificially intelligent, algorithm-based systems of governance at different levels.

This may involve better use of fact checking, prediction markets or hybridisation with current electoral processes.[6]

In fiction

In the revelation space series, the decentralised Demarchists used a brain-computer interface to constantly influence their decentralised government's decision making process.

References