We can retain Senator Feinstein indefinitely 2023

Dianne Feinstein’s future dispute is pointless. Both sides of the debate over whether she should resign or finish her term are missing the point.

Some Californians feel our senior U.S. senator should resign immediately so Gov. Gavin Newsom may pick a healthy and youthful lawmaker who can attend all votes. Others believe Feinstein was elected and should decide when to resign.

This is a fake choice. It’s simple to satisfy everyone. We can guarantee California’s Senate representation while Feinstein stays in the world’s allegedly finest deliberative legislature.

Artificial intelligence.

Yes, AI technology can do a senator’s job better than Feinstein, who turns 90 next month, or many of the other senior senators.

We could construct a Feinstein-based AI, DiFi, that is moderate and maddening.

AI could perform all senatorial duties.

Fundraising? DiFi might reach more people faster without airplane emissions and send less obnoxious email spam.

Legislation? An algorithm might offer rational gun-control legislation faster than Feinstein, which red state senators ignore.

Party-line voting? So simple your 12-year-old could design an AI to achieve that in minutes.

DiFi AIs can solve political issues that Feinstein cannot.

With some speech software, the AI could make Feinstein’s rambling, repetitious committee statements.

Why stop at formal duties? DiFi AIs can solve political issues that Feinstein cannot.

The AI saves Gov. Newsom from the delicate politics of choosing will replace Feinstein if she dies or retires early.

In 2024, three Democratic candidates to succeed Feinstein will raise tens of millions of dollars to fight each other—money that donors may use to defeat Republican senate candidates in battleground states. Democrats should support DiFi AI to avoid costly infighting.

A historic DiFi AI might also boost democracy. Currently, we can only vote for living representatives. A DiFi AI would let Californians keep Feinstein, or her algorithmic essence, in office when she dies.

In this culture, knee-jerk objections to having the dead represent the living are simply overlooked. The US kills so many people before their time—endless wars, gun violence, misinformation-fueled epidemic responses—that the dead require more representation.

Californians wouldn’t mind ghosts ruling. Today’s voters govern less than those who voted for 1978’s Proposition 13 by electorates that are essentially deceased. Changes are considered politically impossible.

Technical issues would arise. The Senate’s archaic rules prohibit replacing a human senator with an AI. Senators might easily amend those regulations. Senators are conceited and self-important. Also old: Senate members average 64. An amendment allowing them to serve after death may pass bipartisanly or unanimously.

Public dialogue may benefit from AI-filled Senates. Since people and media can’t call or text human senators, AI senators would be a click away. Unlike elderly senators, AI politicians can adjust to fresh facts.

I profit. Sen. Feinstein doesn’t talk to me or many reporters, but with some guidance from an AI-savvy friend, I recently asked Open AI’s GPT-4 multimodal model to pretend it was a 90-year-old California senator facing questions from a “provocative California columnist” about whether she should resign and who should replace her.

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