AI and Diplomacy: a new Tool for Diplomats ?

3rd of December 2018



Can AI application support the work of diplomats and foreign policy professionals? What are the challenges?





Artificial intelligence (AI) is transitioning from science fiction into our everyday lives. Over the past few years, there has been significant progress in the field of AI, which is increasingly becoming part of our everyday lives - from intelligent digital personal assistants and smart home devices, to autonomous vehicles, smart buildings and medical robots. These advances are expected to have implications in several policy areas (economic, societal, education, etc.), infrastructure and society in general, and governments, the technical community, and private sector actors worldwide are increasingly considering them.


With AI’s entry into all aspects of society, it will inevitably influence diplomacy. The more deeply AI is integrated into society, the larger the effect will be on the context in which diplomats operate. At the same time, AI can also serve as a tool for diplomatic activities.


Diplo & TTH Collaboration 

This Think Tank Talk is a collaboration between the Think Tank Hub and Diplofoundation. 

Diplofoundation is a non-profit foundation established by the governments of Malta and Switzerland. Diplo works to increase the role of small and developing states, and to improve global governance and international policy development. It aims at increasing the power of small and developing States to influence their own futures and development, increasing international accountability and inclusivity, increasing the legitimacy of international policy making and improving global governance and international policy development. 

Goals of this Talk: 





About the Speakers 










Kat holds an MA in Diplomatic Studies (University of Leicester, UK) and a PhD in International Politics (University of Aberystwyth, UK). 


on the design of the German energy transition. Philippe studied law at the University of Passau and International Relations at the Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences in Kleve.

Think Tank Talk Series

The Think Tank Talk is a 2-hours event where an expert on the topic covered is invited to the Think Tank Hub to present their field of expertise to a high-level group of participants. The idea is to generate a debate, to discuss different approaches and problem-solving techniques that can be applied to current matters that we are facing.

Dr. Katharina Höne 

Originally from Germany, Dr Katharina (Kat) E Höne is currently based in Aberystwyth, Wales where she researches,  writes and teaches on a number of issues in the area of diplomacy and global governance. In addition to developing a highly interactive, ten-week online course on Education Diplomacy, and an eight-week online course on Negotiations Skills, Kat also edits Diplo’s Policy Papers and Briefs publication series and curates Diplo’s monthly WebDebates in diplomacy. Together with Barbara Rosen Jacobson, she is working on Diplo's research project on data diplomacy, commissioned by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Philippe Lorenz

Philippe Lorenz leads the SNV’s (Stiftung Neue Verantwortung) Artificial Intelligence and Foreign Policy project, assessing the implications of artificial intelligence for international relations. In his work, Philippe Lorenz focuses on policy areas that are undergoing major changes due to advanced technologies. In the project Labor Market 4.0, for example, he analyzed policy developments on the German labor market under the influence of increasing digitization. Here, he paid particular attention to the changes in occupational profiles due to the influence of automation technology. Another focus of his work was the influence of digitization 

This event is designed as a highly interactive discussion on some of the following topics:

  • What AI-related changes to the environment and the geopolitics in which States operate can we already see? 

  • What is the (potential) use of chatbot for consular affairs and public diplomacy? What are its pitfall?

  • Can smart contracts be used in diplomacy and international relations? 

  • Can AI act as a smart research assistant for diplomats and foreign policy professionals? What kind of insights can we expect?

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The Swiss Think Tank on foreign policy

foraus (Swiss Forum on Foreign Policy) generates independent, high quality recommendations for foreign policy decision makers and the public, thereby bridging the gap between academia and politics. Its non-partisan approach aims to promote an open dialogue and informed decision-making on all aspects of Swiss foreign policy. foraus is a grassroots organization.


© foraus - Swiss Forum on Foreign Policy 2017

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