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Accepted Paper:

Governance of Things: AI & DAOs in Politics - Utopia or Dystopia?  
Andreas Wagener (Hochschule Hof - iisys)

Paper short abstract:

Existing digital technologies - AI, blockchain/DLT, DAOs - already enable completely autonomous decision-making systems. What would these look like if applied to politics? How could they be embedded in social systems? And how should we walk on the fine line between utopia and dystopia?

Paper long abstract:

According to a recent survey, 25% of respondents would prefer political decisions to be made by AI rather than flesh-and-blood politicians. Such a development would mark the end of an increasing mechanization of social processes, for which "digital" technologies such as AI and distributed ledgers (DLT) are primarily responsible. Regarding the impact that algorithms and digital automatisms have on our everyday life, one could argue that this may already have heralded the end of the anthropocene and the beginning of a posthuman age might be ahead.

The social sciences are currently discussing the influence of digitization on social decision-making through "algorithmic governance" in practical politics - with corresponding questions in the area of legitimacy and ethical justifiability of such, already practiced advances. In accordance to the much-cited "Internet of Things", this could lead to a "Governance of Things". The paper attempts to shed light on the technical nature of such an independent system. While AI is relevant for decision input, DLT methods can be used for decision execution. So-called "DAOs"are already applied in the economic sphere for the participation of autonomous systems as independent actors. However, a corresponding use in social decision-making raises new questions regarding legitimacy and representation and thus also about the relevance of human decision-making in the digital age: Which future is desirable and which development lead us into a dystopia? To what extent is it legitimate to expand technical achievements and push ahead with digital change? What are the challenges and how to face them?

Panel P28b
Blockchain Imaginaries: Techno-utopianism, dystopias, and the future-imagining of Web 3.0
  Session 1 Monday 6 June, 2022, -