The future is here, but some residents aren’t prepared to accept an artificially intelligent mayor so soon.
We’ve seen some extraordinary things happen during elections in Japan, including politicians using images of adorable cats and cute nurses on their campaign poster to attract a wider demographic. As long as it gives them an edge over the competition, anything goes, it seems.
One such occurrence recently took place in Tama City, located in western Tokyo, where residents discovered that one of the candidates in the running to become the next mayor was urging voters to replace human politicians with artificial intelligence.
▼ Imagine Twitter user @koheimaniax’s surprise when he saw
a vehicle campaigning for AI politics.
44-year-old Michihito Matsuda is the man behind the revolutionary campaign, whose impassioned speech made heads turn as he spoke in front of Tama Center Station:
“Tama New Town was the most advanced city in Japan 40 years ago. As it stands, the aging population will only continue to grow, prompting a need for change in the current administration. Let artificial intelligence determine policies by gathering city data and we can create clearly defined politics.”
▼ His campaign poster matched the tone well.
A bold statement heralding a new age indeed, for human politicians are notorious for failing to fulfill campaign promises after securing election victory. Perhaps an impartial AI mayor might do the city some good.
This isn’t Michihito’s first time gunning for the prized mayoral seat of Tama, as he also tried to win over the hearts of residents four years ago.
▼ However, candidate Hiroyuki Abe won a landslide victory of 31,828 votes over Michihito’s 3,509 back at the 2014 elections.
So why was there such a gap in votes? Tama residents back then might not have the courage to entrust their futures into the hands of AI, or perhaps the prospect of a dystopian future run by robots like those found in sci-fi movies arriving so soon unnerved them.
▼ Or maybe it was Michihito’s outfit, because emblazoning a T-shirt with the words “AI Matsuda” with a marker pen doesn’t inspire much confidence.
Nevertheless, his crusade did manage to convince 3,509 people to back his ideals four years ago, and with hysteric politicians driving people insane back then, residents may just decide to finally welcome their AI overlords this year.