03 December 2018

AI and Diplomacy: A New Tool for Diplomats ?

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

About the topic

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.


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?

About the speakers

Originally from Germany, Dr Katharina 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, she 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.


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



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 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.

About the co-organizer

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.