Today in Switzerland – SWI

Keystone / Rolf Vennenbernd

According to some, artificial intelligence is a danger to democracy. The others see it as an opportunity. We tried to take stock.

Robot dog. Behind this strange name hides an algorithm which, like a watchdog, identifies hateful messages on social networks and brands. It was developed by Alliance F, the main feminist umbrella organization in Switzerland, to combat hate messages and its results are so convincing that it should be officially posted online in July.

Bot Dog is just one example of how artificial intelligence (AI) can strengthen democracy. Because in this area, ideas abound. According to Dirk Helbing, professor of computational social sciences at ETHZ, “we are moving towards a kind of participatory digital society”.

But it’s not all rosy either, because algorithms increasingly determine what information we receive, what products are presented to us, and at what price. They produce what we see of the world and the issues we give weight to. What makes our political thought and our electoral behavior present, explains the specialist.

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