Civic Network Watchdog Polska reported that a non-existent candidate, created entirely by artificial intelligence, submitted by the organization for the Personality of the Year 2022 award, received this distinction, which means that the candidature has not even been verified. The title was awarded by the editorial offices of “Dziennik Bałtycki” and “Głos Dziennik Pomorza” belonging to Polska Press.
The candidacy of the fictional character Agata Bąk for the Personality of the Year 2022 competition was submitted by Martyna Regent, a city activist operating in Gdynia and a member of the Watchdog Polska Civic Network, who herself withdrew her candidacy due to the paid form of voting for nominees.
The Regent was not alone in this decision. The group that appealed not to vote for them included the poet Olgerd Dziechciarz, jazz musician Marek Styszowski, Agata Rychcik from the “Pocztówka” Cultural Association, the manager of the museum in Mrągowo Dominik Tarnowski and the composer and vocalist Jorgos Skolias.
Watchdog Polska reminded that Polska Press – in response to media publications describing the resignation of a group of nominees – threatened to take legal action against “publishers and journalists violating the good name of Polska Press and the reputation of plebiscites organized by it”, considering media publications as a manifestation of “unfair competition” “.
A fictional character wins the Polska Press plebiscite
The activist withdrew, but opted for a replacement.
The biography of the fictitious Agata Bąk was created by artificial intelligence. However, Regent pointed out that it was not useful because the organizers of the plebiscite – as she writes – did not verify it at all. It states, among other things, that Bąk is the coordinator of Invisible Women in AI – a research team focusing its work, among others, on ethics and transparency in the field of work on artificial intelligence.
Agata Bąk – lecturer and artificial intelligence researcher with over ten years of experience in the industry. She is the coordinator of the Invisible Woman in AI research team. Her work focuses on issues related to ethics and transparency in AI, and on promoting diversity and inclusivity in tech-related environments. She is the author of many scientific publications on this subject and has given numerous presentations at international conferences. In addition to her scientific work, she is also involved in the community, conducting trainings and workshops for young women interested in technology
As we read, the candidacy was submitted via a form on the website of “Dziennik Bałtycki” belonging to the Polska Press group. Not even a record of Bąk’s fictitious actions was created on the Internet, and the character “existed only in the sent application”.
Despite this, the editorial office sent a diploma with congratulations on the nomination to the telephone number provided, signed by the editor-in-chief of “Dziennik Bałtycki” Artur Kiełbasiński and the president of Polski Press for the Pomorze macroregion, Piotr Grabowski.
The diploma says, among other things, that the winners will receive “prestigious titles and statuettes”, and the winners of the first three places in each category on the scale of the voivodship “will find their way to the pages of a unique book”.
Regent further said that in subsequent messages, paid, personalized graphics were offered for distribution. She also noted that the voting system was leaky, because it “enabled casting votes from one device without any restrictions, but not more often than once per second”.
As a result, the fictional character won the title of Personality of the Year 2022 in the Business category in the Lębork poviat. The award “on her behalf” was received by Regent at a gala on April 26.
We asked both the editorial office of “Dziennik Bałtycki” and the representative of Polska Press, dealing with the action, about the fictitious candidature in the plebiscite. We have not received a response on this matter until the publication of the text.
Civic Network Watchdog Poland
Main photo source: Martyna Regent/Civic Network Watchdog Poland