‘Kim Kardashian will be our next US president,’ says British-Dutch physicist at GYSS


Andre Geim cautions democracy becoming a popularity contest in the future at 11th Global Young Scientists Summit held in Singapore

Ronald Goh

·News and Lifestyle Producer

Thu, 26 January 2023 at 6:43 am GMT

Kim Kardashian in a light pink dress on the left and Dutch-British physicist Andre Geim on the right.
Kim Kardashian (left), Dutch-British physicist Andre Geim (PHOTOS: Getty Images)

A top scientist warned that democracy is in danger of becoming a popularity contest that could see reality TV star Kim Kardashian elected as president.

Speaking at the 11th Global Young Scientists Summit (GYSS) in Singapore, British-Dutch physicist Sir Andre Geim said he believes that if the current trend continues, it will have a negative impact on society as a whole.

“You’ll find out the next president [of the United States] in 10 or 20 years could be Kim Kardashian because she has more followers than anyone else on the internet. We are moving into that kind of democracy in which people start voting by how many likes they have,” he said.

You’ll find out the next president in 10 or 20 years could be Kim Kardashian because she has more followers than anyone else on the internet. We are moving into that kind of democracy in which people start voting by how many likes they have.

This year’s GYSS held lectures and panel discussions covering the fields of politics, science and technology.

Organised by the National Research Foundation from 17 to 20 January, topics such as artificial intelligence (AI), ethics of funding, inequality, advancements in science and politicians misconstruing truth were discussed.

Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Heng Swee Keat, delivering the opening speech at the 11th Global Young Scientists Summit.
Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Heng Swee Keat, delivering the opening speech at the 11th Global Young Scientists Summit. (Photo credit: NRF Singapore)

The Summit was launched by Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and Chairman of the National Research Foundation, Singapore (NRF), Mr Heng Swee Keat.

More than 350 participants attend sessions held on-site at the Singapore University of Technology and Design, and over 1,400 attended the conference virtually.

Young researchers from 29 countries across five continents engaged in open dialogues with some of the top minds around the world including recipients of the Nobel Prize, Fields Medal, Millennium Technology Prize, and Turing Award.

A panel discussion of one mediator and three guest speakers at the 11th Global Young Scientists Summit.
A panel discussion at the 11th Global Young Scientists Summit (GYSS). (Photo credit: NRF Singapore)

The rise of AI and working with technology

Referencing a book on AI, The Age of AI: And Our Human Future, Ambassador-at-Large with the Singapore Foreign Ministry Chan Heng Chee expressed her concern over how AI and technology could potentially overtake humans.

“The machine can make decisions for you in a war, even before the person thinks of pressing a button. That is extremely alarming,” says Chan. She warns of the implications of generative AI on war.

As reported by The Economist, the rise of AI enabled weapons have the potential to upset the balance of global power in what is termed as an “artificial-intelligence-enabled warfare”. This could foresee an even greater power struggle in politics.

Still, Chen elaborates on the added value to society when scientists and social scientists work hand in hand with technology, instead of against it.

AI sign displayed on a phone screen, a silhouette of a paper in shape of a human face and a binary code displayed on a screen are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on January 15, 2023.
AI sign displayed on a phone screen (PHOTO: Getty Images)

Fake news and future diplomacy

Credibility of information and the spread of fake news was also a hot debate.

Panel speakers referenced American politician, George Santos, who is currently under investigation by federal, state, county and Brazilian authorities. Santos fabricated his biography as well as eviction and personal debt cases.

It’s bothersome that truth is now being degraded in many societies.

These false claims include personal information such as his ancestry, education, employment, charity work, property ownership, and claims of victimhood in crimes.

American politician George Santos, dressed in a navy blue suit leaving the U.S. Capitol
George Santos leaving the U.S. Capitol on January 12, 2023 (PHOTO: Getty Images)

“It’s bothersome that truth is now being degraded in many societies,” claims Chan.

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