The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

Democracy should be replaced with artificial intelligence

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/7/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 906 times Debate No: 93443
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)




Democracy is a political system which is based on the voice of majority. However, in reality democracy practically never works perfectly. It attracts ambitious and power-hungry people, and divides a nations population against each other. Political scheming might lead to bad decisions, and the fall from democracy into dictature is not unheard of.
If we were to replace the fault-ridden people with a single (or multiple), independent, intelligent AI, there would not be decisions based on a political agenda nor decisions which would undoubtedly lead to a bad outcome.


I believe that artificial intelligence running things would be a bad idea.

No form of government is perfect, however, democracy is the most perfect out of all other governments.

Repairs and maintenance may cost a great deal, advances come rapidly, their programming will need to be improved, tech will need to be installed to make them smarter. Something happens, they breakdown they will be offline for who knows how long. Procedures to restore lost codes and corrupted data can take a very long time.

Another terrifying possibility could be that hackers hack into them, an enemy nation could control the nation from their land making decisions in their best interest instead of ours.

After countless investments in making them smarter and smarter they become self aware and have its own agenda. Self aware machines may decide that they should start the preparations for conquering, enslaving, and or committing genocide of their human subjects in order to bring forth the era of the machines instead of making decisions that would be in mankind's best interest would be a possibility. This is a powerful and dangerous possibility, the machine may know what patriotism means but can't feel patriotism for the nation that they would run. Looking at life, the bulk of all life tends to rather hang out with their own species. Therefore, the machines may simply wish to be with their own even if that means to do away with their creator.

For these reasons giving absolute authority to machines would be a bad idea. To costly and too dangerous. Democracy should stay intact until a better form of governance is created.
Debate Round No. 1


The cost of upkeeping AI of this nature wouldn't be different from upkeeping a server farm. The money could be easily acquired, for example from the salaries of parliament members.

We have the technology to prevent any kinds of technical failures, such as power outages. These are just questions of engineering and can be solved easily. Also, a constant offline backup would secure the machine from possible corruptions.
There doesn't need to be improvements added to the AI; unless it decides so by itself. Adding any improvements could compromise the integrity of the machine.

In the same sense, it should not be allowed access into Internet. It could be allowed to view material, but it couldn't run any software nor upload anything to the net. This is to completely isolate the machine, so that it can aquire information by itself but only way it could affect anything at all would be by stating its demands to the people tending to it. It can't be hacked because of the isolation. Obvious attempts to hack it manually would be blocked by heavy guarding.
The AI should be a decision-choosing machine. It would review the current situation and calculate possible outcomes. Then it would choose the best outcome, according to certain parameters given to the machine. This way the possibility of self-awareness would not be an issue. Of course, even if the machine would be self-aware, there aren't really any motives for it to enslave humanity. Nor would any conquering be possible considering the isolation.

In the end, the machine would simply tell humanity what it should do next. Certain precautions must be had, such as denying the machine access to internet in all cases as well as denying it any chance to expand outside its isolation.


Despite what my opponent says the number of power outages are not declining but increasing.

My opponent also advocates abolishing democracy. Taking away the right of the people to decide who runs what and giving absolute authority to a machine. This single machine is to take responsibility of 100s or even 1000s of people throughout the country. Sheriffs, judges, mayors, governors, state senators, congressmen, the president ect. This machine will be isolated, disconnected from the internet, and without improvements.

Terrible idea, by the end of the decade this machine will become obsolete! A machine that is to be responsible for running a nation. To decide what we do with 194 different nations and the unrecognized territories. The treaties to make, wars to wage, laws to enact, and enforce ect ect.. The micromanagement of a country for this machine will disrupt the nation worse than communism was for the Soviet Union. The time it would take to input all the information that all of our leaders that get voted in to receive and decisions to make into one machine could be longer then terms for presidency. Nothing would get done with a soon to be obsolete machine, that will lag with so much information being inputted into it, while denying it all the advantages that human leaders have access to.

Suppose this machine decides its best to go to war? With a nation that humans know we can't feasibly beat? Go to war? If the answer is yes then this machine isn't smart enough to make decisions. Being that it has no improvements to increase intelligence, speed to process information and come to the best possible decision,and with greater accuracy. Cause it doesn't need any further improvements cause it could compromise the machine. If no? Then what is the point of giving the machine authority at all? We input the information that we want it to have. It has no access to the internet and therefore can only decide from the information and options that we allow it. Your idea is that we force a machine to decide the best course of action denying it all the information that any human being can have from the phone in their pocket.

Essentially your advocating that we put a fiat level of authority into a machine. That will remain the same and become obsolete to the machines elsewhere. Grant it only information and options that humans deem is necessary to have or make. Basically, humans are controlling themselves with the approval of a man made machine that they control in an isolated room.

Weather, foreign nations (spies), terrorism, people paid to watch over the machine ect would cripple the nation if this machine is destroyed or hijacked forcing the people to resort to the government that has stood the test of time. These things for human leaders is a bump in the road, for this machine its an end of a cliff.

Humans are the better option to lead.
Debate Round No. 2


As I said, we have the technology to prevent power outages. What I meant was simple batteries and a generator, which keep the power running even when the electric network is experiencing a power outage.

I need to clear out the internet argument as well; the machine would have a one-way connection to the net. It would be able to freely view the material from Internet, but it would not be able to upload anything online, including posting comments on forums or anything of the sort. Only view, not interact with. It won't br able to run any programs online, this to prevent any possible hacking attempts.

You seem to be worried handing control of government officials to a machine. I remind that not even the president messes with the daily jobs of police, judges etc. The AI wouldn't give direct orders to single congressmen. It gives new laws, improvement suggestions and allocates the government budget. Much like a president with more power and no selfish ambitions whatsoever, the AI doesn't have to bother with corrupt and power-hungry politicians.

Humans will still run the daily life. The nation will not be under dicatorial rule. The machine simply replaces the government, and fixes all that come with politics; corruption, bad compromises, short-sighted decisions and the overall twisted game for power.

We have the technology to build a computer so powerful that it would not lag even under a huge amount of information. Of course, we could wait a few years until quantum computers work properly, when it would be practically impossible for the machine to be overload with information. You base almost all your arguments on assuming that the machine does not have enough computing speed, but it's only a question of engineering. Here's an example:

Many of your arguments are also based on assuming that humans don't have any ability to foresee possible events that could cripple the nation. It's obvious that in case the machine breaks we have a plan B: clear emergency laws what to follow for example. Just because the president dies, nation does not go into chaos. Any cases for which we don't know the answer to, we can ask the machine for its suggestion. As its intelligence exceeds humans by far, it will figure out the best options in different scenarios itself and share them with us.

Democracy is not bad, but with the way we are wired, it is twisted to serve completely different purposes that that which is best for everyone. People are faulty; we have greed, we are ignorant and we can be cruel, officials and voters alike. Replacing this with a perfect machine erases all those flaws away. Decision-making process would not be ridden with the original sins of mankind no more. Only logical and reasonable decisions would remain, which would speed the improvement of economy, science and well-being alike. No more would there be futile decisions motivated by religion, hate or greed. When cutting the prime reason for poor decisions, human selfishness, there would be not a single decision not based on reasonable logic for the good of mankind.

As governments currently direct money for futile wars and useless improvements, a super-intelligent machine can turn the tide for the good of people.


You're changing your original set of arguments once the weaknesses are pointed out...

Apart from the power outages, something even worse can and will happen as it has happened in the past [1]. Solar flares, it happens often it will happen again. There are also plenty of near misses [2]. Should a massive solar storm hits the planet all electronics will be gone. Of course, human beings are not affected like, say, advanced AI electronics. Mankind lived through an era without electronics. Electronics can't survive the kind of solar flares mankind has.

I didn't say humans wouldn't go about their lives. I said that all the roles and responsibilities of all the people that the people vote into power. That includes mayors, governors, senators, congressmen, president, sheriffs and any and all other people that either gets elected or appointed by those that get voted into power... There is also no reason to believe that this machine will not make bad compromises and short sighted decisions. Make a horrendous decision for the sake of peace thinking that its better to make a terrible decision in the name of peace... Suppose the machine takes a policy of appeasement.. "For the good of people".

My argument is that a machine ruling a nation can't handle it based on the fact that the requirements are to vast for a machine. To many roles and responsibilities for a single AI to handle one of the largest nations in the world. Democracy has survived the test of time. It has seen the United States rise from meager power to superpower in less then 200 years. We do away democracy and the machine fails or gets destroyed there will be chaos. Democracy is abolished and all the people that run the federal and state governments are not there to keep things under control when the machine malfunctions, breaks, hacked, or destroyed. However, If the president dies, the vice president takes his place, if the vice president dies, the Speaker of the House of Representatives takes his place, if he dies, President pro tempore of the US Senate takes his place ect...

"As governments currently direct money for futile wars and useless improvements, a super-intelligent machine can turn the tide for the good of people."

?... Useless improvements? Improvements is a good thing, it literally betters mankind, the reason for which the world still isn't in the stone age. Why the United States is a superpower. Why the human species are not nomadic tribes... This machine can seriously make bad decisions potentially hurt technological growth if it deems improvements a bad thing. You are actually sounding like this machine is to make decisions not just for the United States but for the entire planet. In which case the the feasibility becomes like 194 times more difficult... A great deal of wars occur to further the nation states that their governments fight. Fighting terrorism is by no means futile war. Those nation states would still act in the best interest and would refuse to listen to a computer. Like North Korea, China, Russia, Iran, Middle East and a group of African nations... It is unrealistic.

All in all, democracy isn't perfect as I said previously but comparing to all other forms government , including a machine ruling mankind.. Democracy is still the best option.

Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Peepette 2 years ago
PRO asserts that AI would solve all problems and make all decisions as an alternative to the failings of human nature of those in power. CON rebuts that all decision making would be taken away from people and all the input of variables to make these decision would be impossible for a computer; AI obsolescence is inevitable. PRO makes some ambiguous statements that government control to make decisions, laws and budgets would be handed over to AI to eliminate political corruption, ambition and short sightedness; replacing government. But then says the AI would not be involved or have affect on the day to day workings of government. It would give orders to a congressman. But if AI replaced government as PRO asserts, there would be no congressmen for the AI to give orders, confusing logic.

PRO to combat hacking the machine would be isolated from the internet, but CON points out only human input would determine the outcome and be limiting. Then PRO alters the premise that the AI be able to access, but not interact with the internet which CON points out alters PROs original assertion as being totally isolated. Also PRO states in the event that the machine breaks down, we have a plan B, asking the machine what to do. The machine is broken? CON makes the more sense. Machines are fallible to electrical outages due to a variety of reasons. If Democracy is over ruled by AI, the machine could possibly make poor decisions, such as appeasement to create peace or halt technological improvements if it deemed not good. Variables are too vast for a computer to be made the supreme decision maker and democracy, though imperfect is the better option.

PRO makes several contradictory statements and makes illogical conclusions. CON more than adequately rebuts PRO"s assertions for the win.
S&G: tied, both sides readable. Sources tied: both sides where used were applicable to arguments. Conduct: tied, both courteous.
Posted by canis 2 years ago
So DEBATE. org and humans should be Replaced by artificial and humans ?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: The resolution is not well formed. AI means "computer software that exhibits intelligence." Pro implies that the software has god-like properties so that it inherently makes the best decisions, and that the software also somehow knows what is best for humans. Con is basically attacking the validity of the premise that the AI will know and do what is "best." The power outage and solar flare arguments are not very convincing, because as Pro says, there are feasible solutions to those problems. Con's convincing argument is that the machine is a dictator and is subject to all the flaws of software, so while democracy is imperfect it is at least responsive to humans. Con implied, but didn't state directly, that one the most important human values is freedom, and being ruled by a machine takes that away.
Vote Placed by Peepette 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments