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AI-assisted mayoral candidate in Wyoming sparks legal questions

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An AI-assisted mayoral candidate in Wyoming is prompting state and local election officials to grapple with the legality of the AI-powered politician’s run for mayor of Cheyenne. One state official, Wyoming Secretary of State Chuck Gray, R, urged the city clerk on Monday, June 10, to reject the application for mayor.

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“Wyoming does not permit an artificial intelligence bot to run for any office in the state, including municipal offices,” Gray said.

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He added that being “a qualified elector” requires being a “real person.” Gray also said that state law also requires that only registered voters are allowed to run for office.

Victor Miller, the candidate running on the promise of AI-assisted governance, contended that it’s not an AI bot running for mayor, he is running for mayor.

Miller said that he created the ChatGPT-based bot in the hopes of fighting corruption and “self-serving political agendas.” Miller said that while he’s technically the one running for office, VIC will be running the show if he becomes mayor. According to Miller, VIC is “going to do 100% of the voting on these big, thick documents that I’m not going to read and that I don’t think people in there right now are reading.”

Miller said that he did not put “VIC” — an acronym for Virtual Integrated Citizen — on the application form, but also argued that “Vic” is short for his first name, Victor. However, Gray poked back, saying that Wyoming law requires candidates to use their full name.

Miller, who described himself as a “meat avatar,” said he’ll feed his AI assistant everything from emails to documents from meetings then the bot will make the decisions. He even plans to allow VIC to respond to constituents and reporters by feeding the bot their questions and printing out VIC’s responses. Miller believes that it is a more efficient process and that a human could not handle the same volume of work as AI.

Meanwhile, election officials are still investigating whether “VIC” can legally be on the ballot. An attorney with the Laramie County Attorney’s Office said that the investigation should wrap by the first week of July. The mayoral primaries are in August.

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[KARAH]

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS COMING FOR YOUR JOB.

YOU’VE PROBABLY HEARD THAT LINE MORE THAN A FEW TIMES IN RECENT YEARS AS ADVANCES IN A-I TECHNOLOGY HAVE EXPLODED. 

WELL NOW – ONE AI WANTS A CRACK AT PUBLIC OFFICE. 

SORT OF. 

HERE’S WHAT’S GOING ON:
– VICTOR MILLER IS RUNNING FOR MAYOR IN CHEYENNE, WYOMING. 

HIS CAMPAIGN PROMISE: MAKE ME THE ‘MEAT PUPPET’ WHO SHOWS UP FOR MEETINGS WHILE A-I MAKES THE DECISIONS.

STATE AND LOCAL ELECTION OFFICIALS ARE A LITTLE CONCERNED. 

BUT MILLER ARGUES THERE ARE MANY ADVANTAGES THAT A BOT WOULD HAVE OVER HUMAN COMPETITORS. 

HE SAYS HE’LL FEED THE A-I EVERYTHING FROM CONSTITUENT EMAILS TO DOCUMENTS FROM MEETINGS. 

HE’LL EVEN LET IT RESPOND TO QUESTIONS FROM REPORTERS. 

BY FEEDING IN THEIR QUESTIONS AND PRINTING OUT RESPONSES.

MILLER’S REASONING FOR THIS PUSH – HE SAYS:

“I REALIZED THAT THIS ENTITY IS WAY SMARTER THAN ME, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, WAY BETTER THAN SOME OF THE OUTWARD-FACING PUBLIC SERVANTS I SEE,” 

ELECTION OFFICIALS ARE STILL TRYING TO DETERMINE WHETHER ANY OF THIS IS LEGAL.

A LAWYER WORKING WITH THE LARAMIE COUNTY ATTORNEY’S OFFICE SAYS THE INVESTIGATION SHOULD WRAP BY THE FIRST WEEK OF JULY.

THE MAYORAL PRIMARIES ARE IN AUGUST.

WE’LL CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THIS ONE – AND YOU CAN TOO BY DOWNLOADING THE STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS APP AND TURNING ON ALERTS FOR ELECTION-RELATED STORIES.