Additional Resource  

Democracy as Approximation: A Primer for “AI for Democracy” Innovators

This essay was adopted from a presentation given by Aviv Ovadya at the Second Interdisciplinary Workshop on Reimagining Democracy held on the campus of Harvard Kennedy School in December 2023.

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This essay was adapted from a presentation given by Aviv Ovadya at the Second Interdisciplinary Workshop on Reimagining Democracy held on the campus of Harvard Kennedy School in December 2023. Convened with support from the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, the conference was intended to bring together a diverse set of thinkers and practitioners to talk about how democracy might be reimagined for the twenty-first century.

Can we accelerate democratic innovation by recalling that real-world democracy is an imperfect approximation of an ideal? How might AI help?

“No matter what form of democracy we are aiming for, we should remember that all democracy is, by necessity, an imperfect approximation of an ideal worth striving for. The only question is what kind of democracy we choose to cultivate with the resources that we can bring to bear, ” writes Ovadya.

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