The Impact of AI on Diplomacy and International Relations

Monday, January 28, 2019 - 9:00 AM to 1:30 PM
Espace Banca Monte Paschi Belgio
Avenue d'Auderghem 22-28

Significant advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) over the past decade have led to many debates about the potential social, economic, and security impact of AI. However, little sustained attention has been paid to the impact of AI on international relations or how the technology impacts the work of diplomats and policy makers. Advances in AI have put new topics on the international agenda, challenged geostrategic relations, served as a tool for diplomats and negotiators, and created new opportunities and concerns about human rights.

Join the DiploFoundation and the ITIF's Center for Data Innovation to learn about key findings from a new DiploFoundation report Mapping AI’s challenges and opportunities for the conduct of diplomacy, commissioned by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, and a discussion on the need for further research, capacity development and practice in the sphere of AI and international relations. Presentations and talks will be held by stakeholders from governmental organizations, the private sector, and civil society.

Follow @DataInnovation and join the discussion on Twitter with the hashtag #datainnovation.

Provisional Agenda:

9:00 – 9:30 AM Registration.

9:30 – 9:45 AM Opening Remarks by Ms. Sini Paukkunen, Head of Policy Planning and Research, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Finland

9:45 – 10:30 AM Report Launch and Presentation of Key Findings, Followed by Audience Q&A: Katharina Höne, Senior Lecturer, Researcher, and Project Manager, DiploFoundation.

The report maps out the field of AI and diplomacy through a discussion of AI as a tool for diplomatic practice, a topic for diplomatic negotiations, and an element shaping the environment in which diplomacy is practiced.

10:45 – 11:30 AM Panel 1: The Geostrategic Impacts of AI: Richard Stirling, Ceo & Co-founder, Oxford Insights; Michael Street, Head of Innovation & Data Science, NATO & NCI; Maaike Verbruggen, Ph.D. Researcher International Security, Institute for European Studies; Nicole Reynolds, Project Manager, DiploFoundation (moderator). 

This panel will explore the geo-strategic shifts AI innovations have led to, and highlight some of the most important changes that can still be expected. The panel will look at how countries are beginning to position themselves in relation to AI and explore relevant AI strategies. The panel will also discuss where Europe fits in, alongside the United States and China, and whether there should be a distinctive European approach to AI. Lastly, panelists will consider the ability of countries to harness the power of AI, and examine the concerns about a widening digital divide between developed and developing countries.

11:45 AM – 12:30 PM Panel 2: AI as a Cognitive Tool for Diplomatic Practice: Andrew Tony Camilleri, Technical Attaché, Permanent Representation of Malta to the European Union; Arnaud Gaspart, Business Intelligence Analyst, Management Unit of the Secretary General at Belgium's Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation; Jovan Kurbalija, Executive Director and Co-Lead, United Nations SG High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation; Philippe Lorenz, Project Director, Artificial Intelligence and Foreign Policy, Stiftung Neue Verantwortung, Eline Chivot, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Data Innovation (moderator).

A number of professions are already using AI, and the technology may become a key tool for diplomatic practice as well. Through the use of natural language processing and machine learning in particular, advances in AI can support part of the work of diplomats—for instance in the preparation of negotiations and research. How can diplomats benefit from this emerging technology, and what are the obstacles to its adoption and use?

12:45 – 13:30 PM Panel 3: AI, Human Rights, and Ethics in International Relations: Nicholas HodacGovernment and Regulatory Affairs Executive, IBM; Ricardo Castanheira, Public Policy, Government, and European Affairs, Permanent Representation of Portugal to the European Union; Nicolas Moës, AI Policy Researcher, The Future Society; Brian Parai, Deputy Director in the Results and Delivery Unit, Strategic Policy Branch, Global Affairs Canada; Tereza Horejsova, Project Development Director, DiploFoundation, and Executive Director at Diplo US (moderator). 

This panel explores ethical considerations around AI. Existing and emerging initiatives, such as those by the Council of Europe and the European Commission, offer useful guidance in this debate. How can the existing robust principles of non-discrimination, ethics, and privacy inspire and be applied to existing frameworks in international relations? Panelists will discuss the key ingredients for these frameworks to effectively support the development and use of AI while addressing the human rights and ethical questions it leads to.

13:30 PM Concluding Remarks Followed by Lunch.


DiploFoundation: Katharina E. Höne [email protected]

Center for Data Innovation: Eline Chivot [email protected]

01/28/2019 09:0001/28/2019 13:30Europe/BerlinITIF Event: The Impact of AI on Diplomacy and International RelationsEspace Banca Monte Paschi Belgio, Avenue d'Auderghem 22-28, Brussels, beMore information:
Andrew Tony Camilleri
Telecoms and Digital Affairs Attaché
Permanent Representation of Malta to the European Union
Eline Chivot
Senior Policy Analyst
Center for Data Innovation
Nicholas Hodac
Government and Regulatory Affairs Executive
Katharina Höne
Senior Lecturer, Researcher, and Project Manager
Tereza Horejsova
Project Development Director
Jovan Kurbalija
Executive Director, DiploFoundation
Secretariat of the UN High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation
Philippe Lorenz
Project Director
Stiftung Neue Verantwortung
Nicolas Moës
AI Policy Researcher
The Future Society
Richard Stirling
Chief Executive Officer
Oxford Insights
Michael Street
Head of Innovation & Data Science
Maaike Verbruggen
PhD Researcher International Security
Institute for European Studies