Artificial Intelligence in Diplomacy

The new technological Star Wars


Photo by Chris Ried on Unsplash

From international organizations to governments, everyone understands that it is time to step up the use and integration of AI in work and research. AI and machine learning are enabling agencies to leverage the data they already have.

In foreign policy and the diplomatic world, AI will impact 5 main areas:

  1. Tracking data and leveraging it for better decision-making

  2. International development: prioritizing budgets and policy issues

  3. Improve consular services and negotiations, mainly in the realm of economic diplomacy

  4. The emerging technological “Star Wars” between US and China

  5. Government AI integration regarding employees’ literacy



Hear from the experts:



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Read more about the Trend:


The Coming Revolution in Intelligence Affairs

Anthony Vinci, Foreign Affairs (31.08.20)

In the future, machines will spy on machines in order to know what other machines are doing or are planning to do. Through the coming revolution in IA, machines will become more than just tools for information collection and analysis, they will become intelligence consumers, decision-makers, and even targets of other machine intelligence operations.


This AI Expert From Senegal Is Helping Showcase Africans In STEM

Forbes (30.08.20)

Dieng, an AI Expert From Senegal, works in an area of Artificial Intelligence called generative modeling. "Generative models have many real-world applications with regard to natural language processing, computer vision, healthcare, robotics, and in a range of sciences," she said. She also started the TAIK platform, which highlights how Africans are leveraging technology to solve developmental problems –in agriculture, health and education.


Is AI a Force For Good?

Forbes (23.08.20)

When creating AI systems, organizations should also consider the ethical and moral implications to make sure that AI is being created for good intentions. Policymakers that want to understand and leverage AI’s potential and impact, need to take a holistic view of the issues by including intentions, as well as potential unintended consequences and actions of AI systems.


Artificial Intelligence and Its Partners

Oleg Shakirov, Modern Diplomacy (05.08.20)

The creation of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) reflects the growing interest of states in AI technologies. The initiative, which brings together 14 countries and the European Union, will help participants establish practical cooperation and formulate common approaches to the development and implementation of AI.


What’s This? A Bipartisan Plan for AI and National Security

Tom Simonite, Weird (30.07.20)

US Representatives Will Hurd and Robin Kelly are from opposite sides of the ever-widening aisle, but they share a concern that the US may lose its grip on artificial intelligence, threatening the American economy and the balance of world power. They offered suggestions to prevent the US from falling behind China, especially, on applications of AI to defense and national security.


Empowering education through artificial intelligence

Yang Meiping, Shine (21.07.20)

Experts from China and abroad shared their ideas on how artificial intelligence can empower education in post-coronavirus era during the World Artificial Intelligence Conference.


The importance and opportunities of transatlantic cooperation on AI

Joshua P. Meltzer, Cameron F. Kerry, and Alex Engler, Brookings (18.06.20)

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a potentially transformational technology that will impact how people work and socialize, and how economies grow.


DeepMind hopes to teach AI to cooperate by playing Diplomacy

Kyle Wiggers, VentureBeat (10.06.20)

DeepMind, the Alphabet-backed machine learning lab that’s tackled chess, Go, Starcraft 2, Montezuma’s Revenge, and beyond, believe the board game Diplomacy could motivate a promising new direction in reinforcement learning research.


Artificial Intelligence: Power to the People

Heather M. Roff; Ethics & International Affairs (June 2020)

Artificial intelligence (AI) is said to hold both promise and peril. Many tout its potential for great benefits in both civilian and military applications, from greater economic growth in all sectors of the economy to more humane and precise warfare across the globe. Others, however, claim that these same civil and military applications will be increasingly harmful, causing such problems as widespread economic disruption, job loss, or even “flash wars” devoid of meaningful human control.


The UN says a new computer simulation tool could boost global development

MIT Technology Review (29.05.20)

The United Nations is endorsing a computer simulation tool that it believes will help governments tackle the world’s biggest problems, from gender inequality to climate change.


Supercharging sustainable development

Sean O'Neill, The Alan Turing Institute

A bold new approach to development economics, championed by the Turing and the United Nations Development Programme, could boost government-backed sustainable development all over the world.


Artificial Intelligence Arms Race Creating Multi-Billion-Dollar Opportunity

Baystreet (27.05.20)

Artificial intelligence is the next big military advantage. For example, in early 2019, the U.S. announced a strategy for harnessing AI in many parts of the military including. Intelligence analysis, decision-making, vehicle autonomy, logistics, and weaponry, reports Technology Review. Along the way, it’s creating a multi-billion-dollar opportunity. In fact, according to the U.S. Army, “The AI market was more than $21 billion in 2018, and it is expected to grow almost nine times larger by 2025. AI systems provide predictive analysis to interpret human inputs, determine what we most likely want, and then provide us with highly relevant information.”


Digital transformation in federal government: 6 key elements for the future

Anil Cheriyan, The Enterprisers Project (18.5.20)

COVID-19 is helping organizations focus attention on what digital transformation should be all about. Here are six key areas the U.S. Technology Transformation Services is focusing on


India turns to AI to counter skilled healthcare staff shortage

Priyanka Vora, Financial Times (18.5.20)

Two-thirds of India’s population lives in rural areas but is served by one-third of the country’s doctors, according to World Bank data. This statistic that has encouraged innovative companies to use AI to remedy the shortfall by helping low-skilled health workers diagnose medical conditions.


An AI future set to take over post-Covid world

Seuj Saikia, The Indian Express (18.5.20)

A fourth industrial revolution led by artificial intelligence will restructure industries globally; care must be taken that inequalities in developing economies aren’t aggravated in the process.


How To Transform The Government Into An AI-Literate Workforce

Craig S. Smith, Forbes (15.5.20)

Highlights from an interview with Jose-Marie Griffiths regarding governmental use of AI.


Emerging Technologies: Changing Nature of Irregular Warfare

Basma Khalil, Modern diplomacy (11.05.20)

This era of most cutting-edge innovations and inventions in science and technology (S&T), has the potential to revolutionize governmental structures, economies, international security and wars. Emerging technologies epitomize doomsday situation and the military use of such technologies carry greater potential to fundamentally shift the balance of power. Today S&T means the intersection of Cyber and Artificial Intelligence with various emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, including meta-materials; robotics, including lethal autonomous systems; artificial intelligence and machine learning; the cognitive neurosciences; biotechnology, including synthetic and systems biology; high energy weapons; additive manufacturing called 3D printing, space weapons, and the intersection of each with information and computing technologies.


Kissinger Was Right: Statesmanship In The Digital Age

Treston Wheat, Global Security Review (05.05.20)

Technologists and policymakers often speak different languages and have difficulty understanding each other, such as Mark Zuckerberg having to explain how the internet works at a basic level to members of Congress. However, the coming problems with artificial intelligence (AI) will require a consistent dialogue on what the U.S. government must do, and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger offers an essential guide for both technologists and policymakers.

UK government invited Google DeepMind exec to critical coronavirus meeting

Sam Shead, CNBC (01.05.20)

The potential for partnership between the UK government and an AI company


Why the Pentagon can’t go it alone on AI

Jackson Barnett, Fedscoop (24.4.20)

Artificial intelligence — with its requirements for vast sets of data and the potential to disrupt government and military operations — can’t be created in a diplomatic vacuum.


Governments must build trust in AI to fight COVID-19 – Here’s how they can do it

Simon Greenman, World Economic Forum (21.04.20)

In a time where AI has helped governments fight against COVID-19, we must ensure that the data usage that comes with it remains ethical.


Leveraging AI to Battle This Pandemic — And the Next One

Theos Evgeniou, David R. Hardoon, and Anton Ovchinnikov, Harvard Business Review (20.4.20)

Scholars weigh-in on how governments can best use AI to fight pandemics.


Why Covid-19 only accelerates South Korea’s AI ambitions

Jacob Choi, The Interpreter (14.04.20)

Moon Jae-in wants his country to be a technology powerhouse – yet for social reasons as much as military or economic.

How tech companies are fighting COVID-19 with AI, data and ingenuity

R. Dallon Adams, TechRepublic (06.04.20)

Innovators are using droves of data, artificial intelligence, and clever ingenuity to fill gaps in the supply chain and fight the spread of COVID-19.


Coronavirus: How Artificial Intelligence, Data Science And Technology Is Used To Fight The Pandemic

Bernard Marr, Forbes (13.03.20)

Tech startups are integrally involved with clinicians, academics, and government entities around the world to activate technology as the virus continues to spread to many other countries. Here are 10 ways artificial intelligence, data science, and technology are being used to manage and fight COVID-19.


AI in International Relations: The Era of ‘Digital Diplomacy’

Yaroslav Lissovolik, Valdai Club Foundation (12.02.20)

In view of the sorry conditions that the world’s international relations find themselves today, some argue that there may be a case for an upgrade in international diplomacy, perhaps with elements of higher technology in establishing cross-country communication lines. One such area where a technological upgrade is already progressing is the use of AI in international diplomacy. In particular, China has been active in making use of AI in providing insights for its diplomats into the possible scenarios and the evolution of events on the international arena. There is also an increasingly active use of AI in supporting economic diplomacy in trade negotiations. Going forward it will be crucial to ensure greater access of developing economies to the possibilities opened by AI to concluding international accords and boosting international cooperation.


From Digital Diplomacy to Data Diplomacy

Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (14.01.20)

The digital revolution arrived late at the heart of ministries of foreign affairs across the Western world. Deep social and political impacts are unfolding. And yet, foreign ministries are still comparatively under-equipped with the diagnostic capacity to identify, analyse and act in an anticipatory way on the waves of information rolling through the digital realm.This digital deficit is bound to become a true Achilles heel as technological progress forges steadily ahead. To be sure, the advent of greater data capacities holds promises — not just challenges — for diplomacy.


Diplomacy in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Corneliu Bjola, Elcano Royal Institute (11.10.19)

Evaluating the potential of IA to provide reliable assistance in areas of diplomatic interest such as in consular services, crisis management, public diplomacy and international negotiations, as well as the ratio between costs and contributions of AI applications to diplomatic work.


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