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First AI president takes the stage, courtesy of a Lebanese newspaper

Lebanon has been without an elected leader for over two years, and the country has long been plagued by political gridlock and sectarian rifts. Newspaper An Nahar responded to the lack of leadership with an unprecedented move: it created an AI President. With the generative AI-powered entity, An Nahar aims to fill the power vacuum with a force driven by transparency, integrity and data-driven decision-making.

The AI President was trained on 90 years of journalism by An Nahar, providing it with a nuanced understanding of Lebanon's complex history and current challenges. The idea is that extensive training data — coupled with a bot's presumed objectivity and lack of personal agenda — positions the AI President as an impartial force capable of cutting through sectarianism, entrenched interests and partisan politics.

A statement from #OurAiPresident, presented in a special edition of An Nahar, reads, "Unlike previous presidents, my artificial intelligence is designed to serve the people, and I provide my analytical functions transparently and accessible to anyone looking for answers to the country's complex dilemmas." That transparency is on display on a dedicated website, where citizens can question the bot on any topic. After analyzing historical data and current events, the AI President responds with text and an audio file.

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As much as people nervously jest about our future AI overlords, the first AI head of state might not appear before ChatGPT 8 is released ;) But the very notion of an omniscient and selfless leader is undeniably appealing.

Initiatives like An Nahar's #OurAiPresident could prompt voters to reevaluate their expectations of governance. The stark contrast between a profoundly knowledgeable and (in theory) nonpartisan AI and our current human leaders — who navigate a maze of personal biases, political alliances and electoral considerations — highlights the possibility of more evidence-based and objective policymaking. Watch this ballot space...