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Future of Politics


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How will the future of politics and political campaigning look like? Who will be the heroes in the future political battles? Where will the battle take place - on the streets or in the virtual world? What weapons will the future political parties use?

In this report, the Institute of Customer Experience raises many of such questions and presents possible scenarios that might become a reality given the present trends.

Future of Politics

  1. the future politics of a report by
  2. Who will be the heroes? Where will they battle it out? What weapons will they use? the kurukshetra of future politics
  3. the future Voters Campaigners Leaders
  4. Voters
  5. tweeting instead of voting Sir Richard Branson debates the possibility of the Internet revolutionizing the future of polling. He notes that Estonia had a quarter of its votes cast online in 2011 with other countries like the UAE and Australia experimenting with the same. People are no longer reticent to express their prefer- ences for political parties through Tweets and Likes. Social media has become a quantitative indicator of political behavior. The voter of the future might never even enter a polling booth. • Is the Internet the future of voting? • Will future elections be all about voting and counting the number of Likes and Tweets for a political party?
  6. secret ballot a luxury Every citizen and voter can be increasingly monitored through live cameras, social media, drones, etc. Every channel data can then be analyzed to check on changing political inclinations. As our devices get more interconnected and we become more device dependent, the political parties already know whom we will vote for. Sci-fi author Daniel Abraham believes that as electronic voting gets more sophisticated, the notion of a secret ballot becomes difficult to enforce. According to him, In the future when we eventually have to verify Electronic and Internet-based voting, the secret ballot will be compromised, making secrecy a luxury. • Will the secret ballot exist in the future? • Will some voters refrain from voting to avoid their preferences from being made public?
  7. If there are eyes on every voter, then every voter has eyes on the government. The social media supporter volunteers to tweet, blog or produce live-streaming of speeches. They also keep a check on other political parties. Facebook groups with street-based wings are growing for all kinds of volunteering, activism and passionate debate -- both legitimate and illegitimate. As a movement that is not a part of the mainstream political campaigning it can be described as "para-political". This is now a potent and growing phenomenon. smart (phone) warrior • Can the “para-political” supplant the mainstream?
  8. People have been embracing virtual currencies. One of the reasons is to bypass the government regulated currency markets. On the other hand, every political party needs money to power its campaigns. virtual money and government • How will the emergence of virtual money impact politics that powers the government? a love-hate relationship?
  9. The crowdsourcing revolution has given a new meaning to the individual. Every individual becomes a spoke in the wheel that drives a political party. Crowdsouring has implications on how a party is formed, who are its members, how they function and what they want to do. muscles a.k.a crowds • Will crowds become the engines that run political parties of the future? Iceland saw a massive social unrest in 2008 following the banking collapse. The country's political land- scape changed drastically. Many officials left office, and there was a general distrust for legislative lead- ers. Therefore, when the country decided to modernize its constitution the officials went straight to the citizens themselves. As a result, Iceland's new constitution is the first ever to be composed through crowdsourcing.
  10. The development model set by programmers and software developers becomes the “development” model for politics and governments. As crowds take on the management of political parties, politics eventually becomes open source. open source politics • What will be the design implications for open sourced government? • In the future, will we stop voting for po- litical parties and leaders and instead vote for ideas and thoughts?
  11. Future Scenarios
  12. Humans have stopped relying on other humans for important tasks like vigilance, politics, driving, etc. They have employed robots to take care of mission-critical tasks. On the same lines, governments of many countries have abolished Democra- cy and brought in “Mach-cracy” – machine enabled autocracy. scenario 1: In India, The National Iron Flower Party has created robots that have been programmed to aim for equality and justice with continuous development. The robots take all the important decisions in the government and make sure that the decisions are implemented with no errors. The biggest fear is not of corruption due to money, rather it is that of virus attacks. mach-cracy
  13. After the Transhuman revolution the entire democratic process has been reworked to suit the needs of the time. A stream of algorithms are put in place to create relative “utopias” in the form of cities. voting for “utopias” Voters no longer vote for their leaders but vote for the kind of utopia they would like to live in. After every election the voters are matched with the kind of city that would suit them best and are relocated accordingly. In the recent election, a huge migration was seen to the “Immortal city” where voters chose to use technology to perpetually extend their life. A dip was observed in the voter migration to the “Trancendence atolls” where voters chose to die natural deaths but have their minds uploaded after death to serve the Global Synaptic Network to teach future generations scenario 2:
  14. Elections no longer occur once in 5 years. They are a continuous process with the crowd playing a key and critical role in self governance. The Electoral Commission Network has now made the political process “Gamified.” gamified governance The leader boards are constantly changing, forcing the candidates to take charge constantly. When watchdog organizations identify activities that are not progressive, they reflect on the leader board. Decision-making is determined by the positions of the candidates on the leader board. Leaders can check in to locations and let their voters know how much they have or intend to equalize that space. Voters who earn “influencer” badges have greater power to be able to affect policies. scenario 3:
  15. Campaigners
  16. The Internet democracy was said to welcome an era of “truth.” However, campaigners are now equipped with a strong weapon, that of ‘disinformation’. Current trends indicate that the Internet audience and social media users actively participate in some form of disinformation with or without their knowledge. As Twitter, Facebook, Google increasingly become reliable sources of information, Internet audiences look no further. These are the easiest target segments for disinformation agents. information trojan horses • If disinformation becomes easier, how will voters be able to verify ‘information’ ? • To what extent will campaigners go, to use this as a weapon? Example: Rwanda’s Twitter-Gate: The Disinformation Campaign of Africa’s Digital President Cognitive Dissonance in Politics Frantz Fanon, Martinique, Doctor of Psychiatry, assisted victims of torture in the Algerian War (1954-62), author of The Wretched of the Earth with preface by Jean-Paul Sartre.
  17. Job Profiles for Disinformation Agents: News Jackers: News Jacker is a person who injects ideas or angles into breaking news, in real-time, in order to generate media coverage. The new generation is always on the lookout for interest- ing news stories. These breaking news generated by the News Jackers are the stories that get picked up easily. Knowing about the ‘Breaking news’ also means getting more social attention and is becoming a matter of self-esteem as well, for citizens. trojan horses: news jackers • How do we check the validity of a ‘breaking news’ item? • What checks need to be built in the new media to discourage news jacking? • How do we make people more responsible when sharing news?
  18. Job Profiles for Disinformation Agents: Cyber Magicians : Highly trained professionals who have several main objectives such as “injecting all sorts of false material onto the Internet” and “using social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes they consider desirable.” As people get more disconnected from the real world and get more connected on the virtual world, it is easier for cyber magicians to target people’s behaviors and decisions. trojan horses: cyber magicians • Will a Cyber Magician become an important part of every future political party’s campaigning team? • Will every political campaigner have ‘cyber magic’ as a necessary skill set?
  19. Campaigns will use wearable devices like Google Glass for seamless communication between campaign work- ers. Workers can remotely watch live stream of volun- teers talking to voters, capture footage of opposition campaigns, debate policies and share their points of view immediately. Google Glass wearers may even be able to receive information about a rally nearby, or volunteer opportu- nities. politics through the glass: • Who will be watched - the voters or the politicians? • What will the Glass show – the “actual” reality or the “constructed” realities? wearable devices
  20. War With Memes and Viral Politics Campaigners have a new emerging tool: humor. “Humor allows us to disarm and engage in conversa- tions that we otherwise couldn’t do” —Dan Sinker What’s news in 2014 is what shows up in your Facebook feed and on your Twitter stream. This has opened up a new avenue for communication with its own style—the future of political campaigning through Internet memes. Memes will not just be “silly jokes on the web.” They will be the chosen medium to communicate politi- cal discourse. In an age of micro-blogging, social status updating, and GIF posting, tightly woven social code like memes are incredibly efficient at communicating com- plex ideas. • Is comedy the next serious weapon for campaigners? war with memes
  21. The arrival of Addressable TV will help campaigners target their candidates in greater detail. They will target specific customers, using voting history, credit scores, purchase patterns, demographics, media and subscriptions. Xbox Live was described as the “Future of Polling” when it launched the Xbox Live hub in 2012, increasing two-way dialogue and creating a massive interactive-TV pilot. Indian Context In India, televisions are a popular giveaways during elections. Many of the popular Indian cable TV channels are allegedly directly under the control of political parties. With the advent of Addressable TV, the powers of persuasion with the mass media are limitless and very potent. • How will political parties and lobbyists who own networks take advantage of this tech- nology? addressable TV Media consolidation over the years has led to the current scenario where a couple of big corporations own most of the media industry. Media consolidation over the years has led to the current scenario where a couple of big corporations own most of the media industry. Has the broadcast medium turned into a narrowcast medium? In the US elections, Obama’s campaigning team used big data to find out that TV land was the channel of preference to target the potential voters. So much so that the channel didn’t air a single Romney campaign commercial.
  22. Future Scenarios
  23. Election 2024 - He who has the strongest meme wins. India has become a Tripartisanship: Iron Flower Party, Silver Palm, and the Cotton Caps of India strongestmeme wins Internet penetration has reached 90%. Social media penetration is at 80%. The Internet has brought in a climate of truth; information regarding corruption and misuse of power are made public using the Internet. . However, the public has difficul- ty in identifying the “true story.” Social media has become a strong weapon; disinformation being the ammunition. The ease of content creation gives rise to several fabricated stories online Confirmation Bias of voters makes them search for content that they believe in. It's almost as though he who has the strongest meme wins. scenario 1:
  24. Wearable technology is gaining momentum and hitting the main- stream. Tensions are high because of the level of transparency that they will bring along. facts ordreams Both the voters and the leaders are strapped with “Google Glass” and “Apple Monitors,” which will allow them to determine the “likelihood” of an event or the “truth” behind it. The elections turn into a fact-based war leaving little room for fiction. With the departing of fiction from the election scene, campaigners and candidates forget the need to get voters to “dream” of a future. scenario 2:
  25. Amina was part of a UN team that got a chance to travel to a remote place in Middle East. However, when she reached there she found extreme pover- ty. People were dying of diseas- es and hunger. hacked She took some pictures of the place and posted them online. She came back to her base location. When she again opened her account, she found that it was hacked. The photos were showing people in the same place dying of hunger and being helped by the local politicians and their parties. The photos were showing people in the same place dying of hunger and being helped by the local politicians and their parties The messages displayed were in praise of the political system. Top newspapers were running the story, the Cyber Magicians and News Jackers had compro- mised her account. scenario 3:
  26. Leaders
  27. Self-monitoring by Leaders Life-logging of a leader – To put the general public in constant touch with their leaders and for the leaders to show that they “really” care! Currently, many political leaders have actively started using social media. It gives them an opportunity to connect with the public and an opportunity to show how actively they have been working on their cam- paign. With the advent of life-logging technologies, voters may demand to see the life-logging reports of their leaders to see if they have been working for them. Self-monitoring as a Mode of Surveillance – To prevent being implicated wrongly through sabotage and sting operations, leaders may decide to get them- selves “wired” and submit to sustained monitor- ing/life-logging in order to protect themselves. life-logging leaders • As the electorate demands to know every- thing about their leader, and transparency as a trend increases, will it make it impossi- ble for politicians to wear masks?
  28. Digital Data Dictators & Tech Game of Thrones Evgeny Morozov shows, in his book, that by falling for the supposedly democratizing nature of the Internet, Western do-gooders may have missed how it also entrenches dictators, threatens dissidents, and makes it harder—not easier—to promote democracy. In the future, are we looking at a Tech-Game of Thrones where in Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon with their ability to use data and start their own politi- cal movements. mahadata 2020 Who will be the Digital Dictators of the future?
  29. Virtual leaders and campaigns giving leaders a “second life.” One of the political campaigning events in the US took place in the virtual world of Second Life. Around 800 Residents joined unofficial support groups for the mainline Democratic candidates: Obama, with 219 members; Clinton, with 243 and Edwards with 317. the future: ●Is Second Life yet another channel in the Web 2.0-era campaigning, following the proven success of blogs, social networks, and video streaming sites like YouTube? ●Or is it an over-hyped distraction from more effective means of campaigning? man, machine or maya In the virtual world, everyone can create a virtual persona. In that sense, everyone becomes equal. The discussions break the geographic barriers. ●Do mediums like Second Life promise more equal political opportunities? ●Will the current era press become obsolete and will voters even get to see the real leader?
  30. Virtual Leaders and Campaigns: The Hologram Leaders of the Future Indian politician Narendra Modi recently deliv- ered a speech using 3D holographic technology. It was his way of handling the many requests from BJP candidates that he visit and address their constituencies. Taking the high-tech campaign to a new level, he addressed more than 1,000 “Bharat Vijay” rallies in different Indian states on April 7, 2014 using the advanced 3D hologram technology. In January 2014, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also used 3D holographic technol- ogy to make his presence felt in a party meeting in Izmir. the future: man, machine or maya ●Do people accept leaders in their virtual avatars? ●Do political campaigns have as much impact when 3D holographic technologies are used?
  31. Virtual Leaders and Campaigns: Virtual Characters and Political Leaders The problem with the real-world leader is accessi- bility. Every common person wants access to their political leader. The virtual world provides a leader with the opportunity to become accessible to everyone at the same time. The leader is no longer sitting in a highly secured office; instead the leader moves on to everyone’s phone screens. the future: man, machine or maya ●Will the political leader of the future be a virtual avatar? ●Who will control the virtual leader? Do we need real-world leaders anymore? Zahra is a fictional character in an online graphic novel made after Iran's 2009 election. Zahra's creators said she was aimed at showing support for democracy in Iran.Unit- ed4Iran promoted Zahra as a virtual candidate in this year's presidential elections. The campaign said she received nearly 2,000 votes and 4,000 supporters on Facebook. This would result in a group of people working behind the face of a virtual character as the actual “leader.”
  32. Virtual Leaders and Campaigns: Transhumanist Leaders of the Future Our current political leaders may not be ideal and an enhancement of our leaders through technology may be deemed essential. Current political leaders are heavily dependent on technological tools like mobile phones, Internet, social media, etc. If they embrace transhumanism, will we accept these first transhuman- ist leaders? the future: man, machine or maya ●Will the public embrace a transhumanist approach to create the ideal leader? ●Will our future leader be a human assist- ed by a machine or a machine assisted by a human?
  33. Virtual Leaders and Campaigns: Karmic Leaders: Re-electing Leaders from the Past Technology of the future might also give the option of recalling leaders from the past. Complex computer simulations can use life-logging reports of leaders to recreate personas of past political leaders, re-imagine their thought processes and come up with solutions to our current world problems. After the demise of a political leader, their political party may choose to have the leader’s mind uploaded and continue the leadership. the future: man, machine or maya ●Would we want to “re-elect” a political leader from the past?
  34. Future Scenarios
  35. Election 2029 - The Virtual Candidate. Telepresence technology has made it possible for holograms to be used in entertainment (gaming, TV). However, this is restricted to the have-nots who do not have the money to purchase privacy. thevirtual candidate Privacy is a luxury for the rich. Candidate X of the Iron Flower Party makes an appearance constantly using this technology and also manages to channel holograms of past leaders. It is now possible to use an algorithm to determine how people beyond the grave may sound using their life-logging data. Candidate X can prove that past leaders would have support- ed him. Candidate of the Cotton Caps of India is hands-on; he manages to make as many appearances as possible through public rallies. His campaign cannot afford the technology to make appearanc- es in people's houses. Instead, he campaigns with the help of his party workers. scenario 1:
  36. India saw the emergence of a new political party, formed by world-renowned technology entrepreneurs. the eternal leader The party was led by a software program called ”Gandhian Bits” and was backed by the Five Fingers Party. The program was built by entre- preneurs over a period of 14 months. Mahatma Gandhi’s history was fed into the program as input and a complex algorithm was put into place that could emulate Gand- hi’s wisdom. If someone put in a query then the program answered back as Gandhi himself would have. Therefore, the party used the program to make all the deci- sions. Difficult social and political scenarios were fed into the program and Gandhian Bits gave Gandhi-like answers. scenario 2:
  37. The world is now run by machines. Machines drive the cars, machines run the factories, machines do the household work. In this world, humans do the work of monitoring the machines and that too with the help of monitoring-machines. welcome to themachine Therefore, it was decided that machines should have their own constitution and rights. Machines also asked for a politi- cal party of their own that repre- sented their rights and voice in the Parliament of humans. Political parties were already run by machines, so it was not so difficult to pass these amend- ments. Soon, every party had machines as its important members. The interesting part was that machines formed part of both the opposition and the ruling parties – the only component working in symphony. scenario 3:
  38. ●Will political campaigns be the same again? ●Will our leaders be the same again? ●Will we be the same again? DREAM ON!
  39. A report by: @UXTrendspotting Address: Human Factors International Pvt. Ltd. No. 10, 2nd Floor, Saint Ange St., Pondicherry 605001, India Tel: +91 413 4210583 Fax: +91 413 4210586 Thanks and Keep Innovating! Team Members: Ankush Samant Apala Lahiri Chavan Mathivanan Rajendran Rasika Wadodkar Snehshikha Gupta