An AI Politician Sparks Transformative Thinking (AI – A Partner in Wise Democracy? #6)

This just in!  This morning I read about a candidate for UK Parliament who combines two entities – businessman Steve Endacott and AI Steve, a generative AI avatar that can engage with thousands of constituents at once, analyzing and integrating their ideas into proposals that Endacott can push in Parliament .  It’s a fabulous innovation but raises many questions. 

I was immediately concerned that “the people” in this case emerge from a new version of that problematic principle that “whoever shows up can participate”, which can easily become “rule by a non-representative minority” – “the usual suspects”. But then I realized that a combination of representative deliberative councils (“minipublics”) and tools for mass public engagement could be woven together with the “AI Steve” approach to expand participation.  

So I asked ChatGPT 4o what such combinations it could imagine.  I’m hoping its ideas will prompt some of us to get together for some serious thinking and prototyping about this. I think it could enable rapid upgrades of existing democratic systems towards actual “governance of, by and for the people”.  (I would personally then go further to add in things that would promote the “power, participation and wisdom of, by and for the whole.”

In any case, this was all so new, I had to share it right away…- Tom

Below is the conversation I just had with ChatGPT, luring it into my decades-long question of how to enhance democracy’s collective intelligence by weaving together the diverse gifts of different participatory approaches.  Of all the ways AI could change politics, I think this one could be among the most positive. 

(My pre-ChatGPT work in this realm was exemplified by my innovative 2003 essays on “Designing Multi-Process Public Participation Programs”.  A recent development along these lines is Transformative Social Systems, with whom several of my Co-Intelligence Institute colleagues are now partnering.)

Now, just for me, take minute to consider the pioneering work we at CII continue to do to set the stage for such developments – including the innovative thinking you’ll find in this post.  All of it is part of the Co-Intelligence Institute’s evolving longterm transformational project, responding to and advancing good work already happening.  

In light of that, I invite you to help me and CII bring a shot of life energy into our unacceptably flatlined fundraising situation – less than $300 in two weeks…. when we need $12,000 before the end of July.  Honestly, we will only be able to continue our independent work with your help and participation.  I, for one, have no desire to start charging for all that I continually give away.  Please join me in helping this creative effort flourish and contribute.

Blessings on our shared Immense Journey.  And thank you for all that YOU do, in so many ways, to honor and serve life in its abundant forms and potentials.

Now, here’s my conversation this morning with ChatGPT about ways to integrate “AI Steve” with citizen participation and deliberation…. 




Hi ChatGPT. I’m sensing some new democratic possibilities on the horizon. I just read an article about AI Steve, who is the interactive public face of socially conscious Sussex businessman Steve Endacott. AI Steve is campaigning with Endcott to be a UK Member of Parliament representing constituents in Brighton. 

Endicott is promoting AI Steve as “a politician who is always around to talk with constituents and who can take their views into consideration”. It can talk about public issues with up to 10,000 constituents at once – and will do what they tell it to do in parliament. In an interview with NBC, Endacott said AI Steve had handled 2500 calls in the previous 3 days.

Endacott has an initial platform, but he can’t do anything on any proposal in parliament unless it gets over 50% approval from AI Steve’s constituents. AI Steve will train up on any significant new issue that comes up and can then discuss it with constituents, getting their ideas, feedback and votes.

I see AI Steve as a revolutionary democratic innovation. But I have a concern that that “the people” here – as in so many other cases – is whoever shows up, rather than “the whole community”.  But I sense there COULD BE a new form inspired by AI Steve that would more accurately reflect the informed (even wise) views of the population as a whole if they were to deliberate about their shared issues, concerns and aspirations.

So I’d like your views on how to combine any of the following factors into integrated approaches that would make progress towards that ideal.

  • Committed representation – Representatives have a system for gathering and actually following the views of their constituents.
  • Sortition – random selection (“democratic lotteries”) to select citizens for deliberative activities.
  • Deliberative Minipublics – Citizens Assemblies, Citizen Juries, Citizen Councils, and other deliberative councils whose members are a cross-section of their communities who deliver shared recommendations on public issues.
  • Polis – an AI-enhanced participatory polling platform for clarifying the landscape of perspectives on an issue 
  • Pair-matching participatory prioritization platforms like and
  • Simple mass-participation dialogue processes like The World Cafe.
  • Multi-stage participatory policy-creation systems like multi-body sortition.
  • Flatpack Democracy – where candidates for public office agree to work together in office rather than battle it out. 
  • Any of the other of the various online tools for proposing, productively discussing, organizing around and acting on public/community issues and aspirations.
  • Any other method, approach or system you think would help produce wiser, more widely supported public policy through mass participation.

I’ve already thought of several ways to combine a number of these into various integrated approaches for “public wisdom”. I’m wondering what you’d come up with. Please share three innovative possibilities you can see as great combinations to enhance democracy.

ChatGPT 4o

Here are three innovative possibilities that integrate various democratic processes and technologies to enhance democracy:

1. AI-Enhanced Deliberative Ecosystem

Core Components:

  • AI Representatives: Similar to AI Steve, AI-enhanced representatives can engage with constituents, gathering their views and feedback on various issues.
  • Sortition-Based Citizen Assemblies: Regularly convened groups of randomly selected citizens to deliberate on specific issues.
  • Polis for Perspective Mapping: Used to map the landscape of perspectives on issues before and after deliberation.
  • World Café Dialogues: To facilitate broad-based, informal discussions among citizens.


  1. Issue Identification: Constituents propose issues via an online platform.
  2. Perspective Mapping: Use Polis to gather initial opinions and map perspectives.
  3. Sortition and Deliberation: Select a random sample of citizens to form a Citizens Assembly. They receive briefings, deliberate, and make recommendations.
  4. AI Representative Engagement: AI representatives discuss the Assembly’s findings with constituents, gathering feedback and adjusting positions.
  5. Mass Dialogue: Conduct World Café sessions to involve more citizens in the discussion.
  6. Finalization and Action: AI representatives use the insights from deliberations and dialogues to inform their actions and votes in the legislative body.

2. Layered Participatory Policy Creation

Core Components:

  • Multi-Body Sortition: Different randomly selected bodies for various stages of the policy process.
  • CoDigital for Prioritization: Pair-matching platform to help citizens prioritize issues.
  • Deliberative Minipublics: Citizen Juries or Councils to review and refine policies.
  • Flatpack Democracy Principles: Collaborative approach among elected officials.


  1. Initial Prioritization: Use CoDigital to help citizens prioritize the most pressing issues.
  2. First Sortition Body: A randomly selected group to draft initial policy proposals based on prioritized issues.
  3. Public Feedback: Open feedback period where citizens can comment on drafts.
  4. Second Sortition Body: Another group to review public feedback and refine policies.
  5. Deliberative Minipublic: Convene a Citizens Assembly to deliberate on the refined policies and make final recommendations.
  6. Collaborative Governance: Elected officials agree to work together to implement the recommended policies.

3. Integrated Digital and In-Person Democracy

Core Components:

  • AI Representatives with Committed Representation: Like AI Steve, but with a system ensuring accountability to constituents.
  • Participatory Platforms (Polis, AllOurIdeas): For initial engagement and idea collection.
  • Deliberative Councils: In-person and virtual Citizens Councils to deliberate on collected ideas.
  • Multi-Stage Policy Creation: Following the principles of multi-body sortition.


  1. Initial Engagement: Constituents use participatory platforms to propose and discuss ideas.
  2. Perspective Clarification: Polis maps the initial landscape of perspectives.
  3. Deliberative Phase 1: Convene a virtual Citizens Council to deliberate on the ideas and perspectives.
  4. Interim Feedback Loop: AI representatives gather interim feedback from constituents on the Council’s deliberations.
  5. Deliberative Phase 2: In-person Citizens Council to refine and finalize policy recommendations.
  6. Final AI Representative Action: AI representatives, with a mandate from the deliberative processes, take action in the legislative body.

These integrated approaches aim to create a more inclusive, informed, and deliberative democratic process, leveraging both technology and human deliberation to produce wiser and more widely supported public policies.


Thanks so much, ChatGPT. I will share this on my blog, with professionals, and with some close colleagues and friends in my personal networks. Hopefully, this brainstorm will trigger some initiatives to think more deeply about such possibilities, with and/or without your participation. Perhaps you’ll help make history this way… 🙂

ChatGPT 4o

That sounds fantastic! I’m glad I could contribute to your brainstorming efforts. Sharing these ideas with such a diverse group of professionals and friends could indeed spark meaningful conversations and initiatives. If you need any further assistance or additional brainstorming, feel free to reach out. Here’s to making history together! 😊

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Tom Atlee, The Co-Intelligence Institute, POB 493, Eugene, OR 97440

Appreciating, evoking and engaging the wisdom and resourcefulness of the whole on behalf of the whole

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