Thanks to the recent rise of generative artificial intelligence, the Wild West could get even wilder soon. Because an AI bot has officially filed to run for mayor in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

VIC the bot

Voters in Cheyenne’s mayoral race this year will be presented with a whole new kind of candidate.

VIC, an AI chatbot and virtual assistant, is listed on Cheyenne’s 2024 mayoral candidate findings page, with an address and email, no less. Built using ChatGPT, VIC, which stands for for Virtual Integrated Citizen, is the creation of Cheyenne resident Victor Miller.

In an interview with Cowboy State Daily, Miller said he wanted to create VIC as a candidate to combat the prevalent corruption and agendas common in politics. “I’m unhappy with how public servants treat the public for one way or the other,” Miller said. “How to fix that? I don’t know, I’m going to try AI.”

AI in charge

So what would happen if VIC won?

Miller said that even though he is the human running VIC’s campaign, if the bot wins the election the AI will be the one making all of the decisions, not him.

“My campaign promise is he’s going to do 100% of the voting on these big, thick documents that I’m not going to read and that I don’t think people in there right now are reading,” said Miller, per Wired.

The process would work by Miller feeding relevant information, like emails and documents from meetings, to VIC, then letting the bot make all the decisions. Miller thinks it would be better because a person couldn’t handle nearly the same volume as the bot and they can be swayed by the info they receive.

“They’re getting a gist of the ideas, they’re letting people talk to them about how they should vote and how the people think that they’re being influenced sociologically and that’s how the vote is created right now,” Miller said. “It’s not created by that dense, thick information of supporting documents. That’s what I feed into VIC.”

Constituents and reporters can even talk directly with VIC. Miller said that when reporters send in questions, he copies and pastes VIC’s answer and sends it back. You can even talk directly to VIC through a microphone that Miller carries with him.

When asked what it was like to run for mayor, VIC responded, “Being asked to run as a candidate is a unique opportunity to bring innovation and efficiency to Cheyenne. ... It’s all about leveraging AI technology to improve our community and ensure transparency and fairness in our local government.”

Is an AI bot running for mayor legal?

The first question that needs to be addressed before anything is not if Vic can win, but if it can even run. It’s not for sure if VIC will make it onto the ballot.

Officials in Wyoming are currently conducting an investigation into whether VIC meets the requirements to run or not. Brad Lund, an attorney with the Laramie County Attorney’s Office, said that the decision on whether or not VIC can run depends on state statute, per the Laramie Boomerang.

Wyoming Secretary of State Chuck Gray stated that “Wyoming law is clear that, to run for office, one must be a ‘qualified elector,’ which necessitates being a real person. ... Therefore, an AI bot is not a qualified elector.”


Wyoming state law also requires candidates to register under names by which they are known, and Gray thinks the case should be made that “VIC” is a made up name.

But Miller says that he is technically the person on the ballot because he filled out the paperwork. He just wanted to only use “VIC” for the forms.

“... I had read the statute, so it merely said that you have to print what you are generally referred to as. So you know, most people call me Vic. My name is Victor Miller. So on the ballot Vic is short for Victor Miller, the human,” Miller said, per Wired.

When will a decision be made?

Per Cowboy State Daily, there was no official timeline for when the investigation would conclude, but Lund said it was likely to be finished in time for ballots to be printed in July.

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