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Artificial Intelligence in Diplomacy -

Artificial Intelligence in Diplomacy

If an AI agent can beat the best of the human minds in the game of chess, it sure can one day excel in the practical and extended version of chess: International Diplomacy

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word diplomacy highlighted on a paper

Is there any role to play for Artificial Intelligence in diplomacy?, The question has propelled a healthy new debate among intellectuals of this century regarding AI.

The Age of AI

Three years back, International Relations giant Henry Kissinger co-authored a book about AI, titled ‘The Age of AI: And Our Human Future’. Henry Kissinger explains how society has rarely been radically transformed by technology throughout history.

He says: ‘The car replaced the horse without forcing a total shift in the social structure. The rifle replaced the musket, but the general paradigm of conventional military activity remained largely unaltered.

Henry Kissinger, the coauthor of the book called The Age of AI: And Our Human Future

Only rarely have we encountered a technology that challenged our prevailing modes of explaining and ordering the world. But AI promises to transform all realms of human experience’ And that includes diplomacy.

After Google’s DeepMind announced their state-of-the-art ‘AlphaZero’, all the doubts surrounding AI’s capabilities vanished into thin air, because this time AI targeted (and successfully took over) a domain that has traditionally been considered a hallmark and an indicator of strategic thinking: The Chess.

Beating the best

If an AI agent can beat the best of the human minds in the game of chess, it sure can one day excel in the practical and extended version of chess: International Diplomacy.

If that ever happened (which is not too far), human involvement in diplomacy could turn obsolete, and worst yet, we will soon after be pitting AI against AI. One other darning aspect of modern AI is its un-explainability.

Some experts argue that diplomacy will remain purely human-centric for decades to come.

After examining AI chess agents, top chess masters revealed that it was practically impossible to chalk out a pattern in the ways AI plays and beats humans. In other words, we have no means of knowing how or why an AI agent does what it does. This means we can enjoy precise medicine made by AI; we can know what molecular combination the medicine was made from but would never know why this particular combination worked. Getting things done and failing to answer HOW, is not the future the champions of enlightenment foresaw.

AI concerns

What we also know for a fact is that the calls for warnings have always fallen on deaf ears, and the final conclusion reached at by every country’s NSA is to adopt the technology and use it to top the tables. This being said any country that remains shy to this new paradigm is doomed to fall back on the charts.

AI and Pakistan

For countries like Pakistan, AI may not necessarily be researched or its state-of-the-art projects ‘spearheaded’. Merely applying AI to key sectors like NADRA, telecommunication, defense etc. would be more than enough.

And considering our current state, any AI research done in Pakistani institutions should be appreciated. Moreover, Pakistan may be far away from being an AI hub itself, but Pakistani talented IT personnel and Ph.D. (s) are known to have been valuable assets to the global AI market.

Only recently we witnessed AI computer vision in use by Pakistani authorities in a crackdown against 9th May vandalism culprits. Scores of accused caught on camera were identified by Facial Recognition techniques, arrested, and later convicted. But the incident that occurred on 9th May was one of those limited crimes that are committed before live cameras.

There’s no guarantee that each of the petty crimes we witness daily in Karachi or other cities for that matter, might be captured by mobile cameras.

The world is moving towards the London Model, I-e installation of cameras at every corner of the city and employing threat/Anomaly detection AI models to filter out potential crime scenes.

Only with this type of setup would AI really make a change. Rest, using AI for assisting in diplomacy and international relations is a dream too ambitious for us.

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