Bots at the service of Diplomacy

Chatbots provide millions with COVID-19 information every day, but they can be improved - here’s how from TECH

Alex Knight from Unsplash
Alex Knight from Unsplash

One of the most interesting trends in the past years has been the use of chatbots to communicate more efficiently with target audiences. This was boosted throughout the pandemic, especially in countries like Estonia, UK and India where chatbots are being implemented in order to communicate with citizens about Covid-19. Foreign ministries, on the other hand, have been very slow to use this tool. Professionals and specialists are increasingly calling for foreign offices to integrate bots in their daily work in order to replace consular services that have been paralyzed or to better manage their nationals abroad. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Here you can find best practices from other fields, as well as ideas on how to implement emerging technologies as essential diplomatic tools.

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Who's a bot? Who's Not?

Siobhan Roberts, New York Times (16.06.20)

It sometimes seems that automated bots are taking over social media and driving human discourse. But some (real) researchers aren’t so sure.

Great Power Competition in the Post-COVID-19 Era

Dost Muhammad Barrech, Modern Diplomacy (03.05.20)

Technological race between the US and China has already been triggered. Emerging technologies severely affect strategic stability and future arm race would certainly be technology oriented. The more state possesses advanced technologies, the more it would have an economic and military superiority, having capacity of combating unforeseen diseases such as Covid-19.ArtificialIntelligence AI is expected to be contributing nearly 15.7 trillion dollars to the global economy by 2030 and China alone in AI sphere would contribute 7 trillion dollars to the global economy.

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 international health care organizations are using bots to help fight COVID-19

Deborah Bach, Microsoft (08.04.20)

Emergency Medical Services Copenhagen is now among health care organizations in Europe and beyond using Microsoft’s Healthcare Bot service to help screen people for potential coronavirus infection and treatment. Since March, health organizations have created 1,230 COVID-19 self-assessment bots based on the Microsoft Healthcare bot service, reaching 18 million individuals and serving more than 160 million messages.

Chatbots provide millions with COVID-19 information every day, but they can be improved - here’s how

Venkataraman Sundareswaran and Kay Firth-Butterfield, World Economic Forum (06.04.20)

The COVID-19 pandemic has helped widen global usage for chatbot technology. After the pandemic, the use of chatbots for healthcare applications will continue to grow. Public and private stakeholders must come together to maximize these benefits while minimizing risks.

Estonia Debuts Coronavirus Chatbot Born in a Hackathon

Eric Hal Schwartz, (30.03.20)

The Estonian government has created an AI-powered chatbot named Suve to answer questions about the novel coronavirus pandemic. Suve is designed to reduce demand for healthcare providers by educating Estonians about the disease and how it is being handled by government officials.

WhatsApp and WHO create a chatbot to share reliable coronavirus info

Christine Fisher, Engadget (20.03.20)

In an attempt to help users find accurate coronavirus information, WhatsApp and the World Health Organization (WHO) have launched a chatbot that will answer questions about the pandemic.

From Digital Diplomacy to Data Diplomacy

Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook, Belfer Center (14.01.20)

The digital revolution arrived late at the heart of Western diplomacy. But greater data capacities hold a lot of promise

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.