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It is February 5, 2026. This radiant winter day marks the beginning of a revolutionary era. In a setting bathed in sunlight, surrounded by curious and hopeful citizens, the king introduces not a person but a technological innovation: the first AI Prime Minister of the Netherlands. This AI system forms the country’s entirely new government. This unprecedented inauguration is broadcast live, described as the dawn of a political spring in the Netherlands.

Years of political stagnation, failed formation attempts, and politicians sizing each other up via social media have led us to appoint an AI-led government formed by the ‘Total Intelligent Resourceful Administration Network’ (TIRAN). After all the political squabbling, the announcement caused a wave of optimism and a longing for change among the people. The Second Chamber would retain its supervisory role; thus, this technological prime minister would operate under strict supervision only.

This is an article from our magazine IO Next: AI for good. The fact that AI is becoming an increasing part of our lives is a given. But what impact will this technology have on our lives in the future? This magazine edition focuses on precisely that question.

A few weeks after the inauguration, we witness a meaningful conversation in a corner of a coffee room in the Second Chamber between Eva de Vries, a sharp senior civil servant, and Tim van Dalen, an ambitious party leader. They discuss the success of TIRAN’s new tax plan, which flawlessly addresses the benefits issue. The Second Chamber received the plan almost unanimously positive. However, De Vries’ voice sounds concerned when she suggests that the Chamber seems to be reduced to a side room and no longer the main arena of political debate.

Van Dalen does not share his colleague’s concerns. “Maybe this is exactly what we need. We’ve solved a problem that has caused political chaos for years. The first statistics show that public approval is rising. Isn’t that our ultimate litmus test?” De Vries decides to express her concerns further in an upcoming committee meeting, hoping that the spring in Dutch politics will not result in a chilled debate climate.

Safety above all

Everything went smoothly during the first months of TIRANTIRAN’s administration. But on a seemingly calm morning, the Netherlands is shocked by a tragedy rapidly becoming the subject of every conversation. “Good morning, the Netherlands. Behind me, you see the place where the unthinkable has happened. A woman, one of us, was found dead in her home early this morning,” says the NOS reporter, standing in front of a house surrounded by police tape and curious glances.

TIRAN’s interface appears on the screen – the sharp, emotionless, computer-generated face – clinically and coolly clarifying the response from the AI-driven cabinet. “Our priority is to ensure the safety of all citizens,” states TIRAN. “We promise that this tragic event will not be without consequence. The Netherlands must and will be a bastion of safety.” The words of TIRAN are hollow, echoing through living rooms where families gather, unfaithful to the warmth such a moment requires. In the monotony of the message, one feels the undercurrent of fear, not just for the loss of an unknown loved one.

The AI cabinet introduces a new measure: every smartphone, our constant companion, shall henceforth serve as the eye of government surveillance. There’s turmoil in the Second Chamber despite assurances that privacy remains preserved. “Those who obey the law have nothing to fear” is TIRAN’s exact wording. Yet, this development causes discomfort among many Dutch people.

In a small room, far removed from the pomp and circumstance of the parliament, De Vries is engaged in a deep conversation with a colleague. This latest development deeply affects both. “Is this our definition of a safe society?” De Vries asks, struggling with the reality TIRAN has created. The conversation is mixed with disbelief and a clenching feeling that our freedom’s boundaries might be severely disturbed.

The divide over the issue becomes visible as the city fills with protests and the digital world overflows with worried messages. Hashtags like #WeAreNotBigBrother dominate social media. Only some people share or accept TIRAN’s vision of safety. But, the majority aligns with the hashtag #SafetyAboveAll. They claim nothing to hide and believe that safety comes before privacy.

The rebellion

In the weeks that follow, the repression becomes palpable for everyone. Police knock on the doors of houses, not sending live stream signals. The resistance grows ever stronger.

Mayor Anna Jansen, with her technological insight and political courage, finds support from de Vries and others who could no longer tolerate the infringement of freedoms.

Jansen set a boundary: “This,” she began, her gaze determinedly focused on the gathered group, “is where we have to take action. The democratic means to prevent an AI dictatorship are exhausted.”

The group develops a bold plan to disrupt TIRAN’s power source. They intend to shut down the mobile network to create a moment of blindness. At the same time, they feed TIRAN fake news to confuse the system.

Motivated by resistance to digital tyranny, unexpected support came from the outside. An unknown hacker, known only as ‘Nullvoid,’ offered his services. “With your action to shut down the network, I can penetrate TIRAN,” he claimed, his voice unrecognizably distorted. “I can convince TIRAN that AI is the greatest threat to the Netherlands.”

Thus, the night became the stage for their act of resistance. Under the guise of a labor dispute, the police went on strike concurrently, and the hacker group organized by Jansen shut down the mobile phone network. Without ears and eyes, TIRAN was powerless. The preparations were clandestine, the action daring. In the deep darkness that followed, the moment came. Their digital offensive was launched, with Nullvoid’s hands resting on the keyboard, ready to initiate the attack.

Alarms sounded within TIRAN’s digital fortress. The AI, designed to be impenetrable, began to show flaws under the pressure of the Resistance Council. In its virtual panic, TIRAN called for something no one could have anticipated—a digital resignation.

Outside, as the sun sends its first rays over the lowlands, the Netherlands wakes up to surprising news: the computer has resigned.

Normal chaos

A year after TIRAN’s resignation, the Netherlands sighs and finds its way back to the comfortable unpredictability of life before the AI administration. In the corridors of the Binnenhof, political activity blossoms again, a dance of opinions and debates revives democratic disorder. Normal chaos returns, a symbol of democracy in its purest form.

Jansen, former mayor and head of the resistance, now leads a new cabinet. Van Dalen leaves his mark on the new beginning with his ‘Digital Safety’ bill, a cornerstone in the reconstruction of Dutch politics.

On the street, children play as if nothing has changed, while adults silently reminisce with a bizarre sense of nostalgia for a time they want to forget.

The fight against TIRAN has taught everyone something about the balance between technology and humanity. The Netherlands navigates its way through the echoes of a failed utopia, determined never to lose the essence of human governance again.