A simple and most widely believed definition of corruption is abuse of power by an entrusted authority to gain a personal benefit in any form. Recently published data by Transparency International shows that Pakistan scores 32 out of 100 (very clean) and ranks on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 120 out of 180 countries. The CPI is calculated based on the perception and the actual corruption level might be even quite higher.
So, this simple empirical data shows that there is a huge demand for high-tech start-ups to discourage the growing trend of corrupt behavior and contribute towards a sustainable solution. In this context, the author writes an opinion-based article inspired by the deterrence theory of punishment.
Modern scientific study of the mind has evolved quite dramatically, and its roots are started somewhere in the middle of the 20th century. The cognitive revolution has reached a stage where developments in cognitive psychology are attempting to model a corrupt behavior. The cognitive psychology of corruption has evidence that an individual’s behavior in decision making is more likely to act as corrupt. There is a lot of interesting research on the cognitive psychology of corruption and its results are published worldwide.
Artificial Intelligence can help to make smart tools on the money trail, anomaly detection, understanding phenomenon of lobbying, patterns of power abuse, forensic data science, predicting the risk of corruption in a project, transparency of digital contracts, big and complex data analysis, shadow money networks, self-auditing systems and much more.
From a simple viewpoint, the model of a corrupt force has got some constraints like to make abuse of power, misuse of authority and somehow gain personal benefit. But at the same time, an artificially intelligent anti-corrupt force could learn from huge datasets and have a strategic benefit of high computation – which can easily recognize typical corrupt moves or patterns outperforming a human brain.
A corrupt brain might not play longer in front of the artificially intelligent anti-corrupt machine and eventually, it might surrender the thought of corruption as the likelihood of being caught and getting punished would be very high. We have seen past cases where expert officers from anti-corruption force can easily investigate a complicated corruption case: why not a clone of such officer’s certain ability to be preserved in the form of an artificial neural network. A simple advantage would be to create low-cost resources investigating and predicting alleged corruption in a short period of time.
Artificial Intelligence can help to make smart tools on the money trail, anomaly detection, understanding phenomenon of lobbying, patterns of power abuse, forensic data science, predicting the risk of corruption in a project, transparency of digital contracts, big and complex data analysis, shadow money networks, self-auditing systems and much more. There could be simulation prototypes that act like playing the game between a corrupt force and an anti-corrupt force.
So, the question arises: can an artificially intelligent tool kit assist in the fight against corruption? The answer is yes, and it is possible with the emerging technologies.
It has already been empirically proven that the value of complex and huge computation by machines is far more fast and cheaper than that of a human brain dependent system. Even there has been evidence that an algorithmic prediction using the huge dataset of the US Supreme Court outperformed knowledgeable legal experts’ opinion.
Perhaps, the time is not far when an artificially intelligent court of law might be evolved up to a stage where its application program interface (API) just feeds the case data into a context-aware decision-making trial and later it simply prints a pre-stamped judgment against an accused as Corrupt, Innocent, Adjourned, etc. The cost of building and maintaining such a smart system could be quite lower as compared to the operational cost of a fully traditional judicial infrastructure.
In Pakistan, there is need that a technocrat cabinet of a political force should have called authentic corruption investigation officers, Professors of Applied Linguistics, Professors of Cognitive Psychology, Professors of Neural Science, Professors of Social Sciences, Professors of Political Science and Professors of Artificial Intelligence as its consultants to help formulating a research initiative in designing an artificially intelligent infrastructure to combat corruption.
A multidisciplinary approach can raise a smart & proactive anti-corrupt force to easily deter a corrupt force. A society, where it has become a norm of being corrupt while in power, cannot combat a corrupt behavior while thinking in a single dimension. Keeping in mind the social dynamics of Pakistan, engineering low-cost methods of innovation diffusion and raising national awareness is also a great challenge for the nation. In the author’s view, there should be a sort of National Talent Discovery System (NTDS) searching and bringing forward organically motivated, passionate and ambitious persons keen to enjoy a sense of achievement in this area.
There has been a clear empirical evidence that a collective effort can bring down corruption. So, the time has come to live with the ideas of the contemporary world where fiction writers need to write on a transformed “Digital Umro Ayyar” having a high tech “Zambeel” capable of sucking any corrupt system. “Digital Ainak Walla Jin” needs to be modernized with an AI written magic throwing a powerful spell on corruption. Romantic novelists need to write intellectual love stories discovering digital vaccines immune to corruption.
Spy fiction writers are to talk about artificially intelligent devices capable of predicting, identifying and spying a corrupt behavior. IT university graduates need to be paid an attractive incentive on downloading, understanding, simulating and making awareness videos of applied research articles, conference papers, and journal papers on E-Governance, E-Justice systems, smart Anti-corruption tools, and its seamless integration. An ideological reform to believe in innovation and creativity should be the very first step before blindly pouring money and spending time on any national scheme.
The Director Generals or CEOs of different institutes need to pay attention to openly publish their day to day problems which could be taken as a challenging case study by a high-tech start-up or an individual. Open access to case studies and datasets is also important to stand against digital status quos. Digital Incubation Centres should also emphasize on understanding the importance of an agile manifesto before start developing anti-corruption tools.
A digital trust, foundation or non-governmental organization should also think to provide free advice on legal matters, digital solutions by a certified architect, business modelling, business structuring, company name registration, trademark registration, intellectual property law, anti-corruption law, privacy law, freedom of information law, defamation law and also launch monitoring applications along with solar power-driven and internet-connected street displays indicating locally & internationally developed corruption and anti-corruption metrics for public awareness.
The media has a role to bring forward talented people as its high-tech celebrity who could help to solve a complex and deep-rooted social problem like corruption which makes the general public as its ultimate victim. The expert religious scholars should think of publishing their research on understanding corruption and taking anti-corruption measures under the light of the Qur’an and Hadith.