Should Congress be replaced with robots?April 8, 2011
The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank talks about the movement towards automated politicians.
>>> the political theater has become the song an dance. i think of it as pro wrestling as you know. democrats blame republicans. republicans blame the democrats. all the while, the trillion dollar problems, they’re huge, not that many of them, energy and the war, health care, banking and trade remain unsolved. extracting trillions of dollars from our country. here is an intriguing idea that would make the political process perhaps more efficient. congress ought be run by robots. so says a columnist who proposed the idea. dana milbank with “the washington post” asserts that simple premise. what do you mean, dana?
>> this week senator gene sheheen had an exhibition of robots in the senate part of capitol hill and wanted to demonstrate the usefulness of robots, i thought she could go further by see fg we could have more of them come and take care of our problems here. certainly if the robots were in charge, we wouldn’t have anything like what you’re seeing today with multiple press conferences with all kinds of name calling. the robots would be able to put together an algorithm and have this budget ? taken care of in nanoseconds.
>> and how would the robots respond, for instance, to special interests?
>> well, i think we could program them anyway we want. what’s interesting about the robots that senator sheheen brought is each one is actually sponsored by a corporation like exxon mobil or lockheed martin. in fact, that’s exactly the same way actual lawmakers are sponsored.
>> and so you’re saying we could program the robots to project certain special interests. if you’re a robot fund bid the nra you would reject certain legislation that was, let’s say, getting rid of high magazine, high output assault weapons?
>> yes. also for the state of the union, if they heard a certain word, they would know to jump up and applaud depending on how you programmed them.
>> if we program the robots to represent what we have now which is bought politician base wide va vit of special interests giving us pro wrestling, wouldn’t we just have this with robots? wouldn’t we want to program them differently? we wouldn’t want to replicate these people?
>> this is the problem. then we veed to fight about the robots. it would give the members more time at home to do the fund-raising which is, of course, what they want to do in the first place. it’s not entirely new. the vice president of the united states for eight years was a robot. so it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility.
>> all right. i won’t push the envelope. i think you pushed it far enough. so we’ll assume we want to keep robots that replicate what we have but do what they’re doing more efficiently and more productively as opposed to my — we’ll call mine 2.0 where we reprogram the robots to not be so influenced, but go with the current model.
>> i’m open to this possibility. i think we could get bowles and simpson together to put together the optimal use.
>> robot optimization.
>> clua 1e1? it couldn’t be worse than what we’ve got right now.
>> let’s go with swapping out politicians for robots. which robot would most represent the value system of which politician so we don’t get it wrong. we can upgrade from there. i want to give you names, you tell me the robot you think is the best replacement and then we’ll upgrade the computer system. they can raise the money. barbara boxer, best robot replaceme replacement?
>> well, that robot would need quite a bit of maintenance i think. that would be a pretty difficult one.
>> it would be temperamental and delicate and fragile.
>> a little fin nickie. every senator has a specific. i suggested mitch mcconnell would be linguo, from “the simpson’s.”
>> what about pelosi?
>> i think she should be rosie from “the jetsons.”
>> henry waxman.
>> definitely wahl-i. he’s not befriended by too many things other than a small –
>> not only a senator but of course our vice president, joe biden.
>> very difficult to have any robot is his main feature, an inability to follow the operator commands.
>> and we’ll finish with our favorite tea partier, whatever that means in the current reality, michele bachmann.
>> this could get us into a little bit of trouble, i would say the democrats are afraid of michele bachmann in the same way that austin powers was afraid of the fembots.
>> i think in the scheme of what i’ve seen from the pro wrestling environment in d.c. today, this may be one of u $e more thoughtful and intelligent and well-founded ideas that i have encountered, dana. thank you.
>> glad to be of assistance.