The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has impacted all areas of digital policy this month. These developments were covered during March’s just-in-time briefing on Internet governance – our monthly appointment on the last Tuesday of every month – which took place on 31 March 2020. They will also be summarised in the Issue 48 of the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP) Digital Watch newsletter. The briefing was led by DiploFoundation’s Director of Cybersecurity and E-diplomacy Programmes Vladimir Radunović.
Violations of human rights in the context of the response to COVID-19 are increasingly making the headlines. The right to access information, right to privacy, freedom of movement and assembly, and freedom of expression are some of the basic rights that are being affected by nationwide lockdowns and emergency measures.
The coronavirus has been credited with catalysing a shift from a self-centred ‘I’ society to another-centred ‘we’ society. The focus on individual well-being and material wealth that has shaped many people’s identity and aspirations for the last half century or more has now turned into a concern for morality and the benefits of caring, sharing, and community building.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a broad term that encompasses high-end technologies capable of ‘performing human-like cognitive processes such as learning, understanding, reasoning and interacting’, according to Szczepanski. Nowadays, societies are exposed to AI through smartphones, virtual assistants, surveillance cameras able of recognising individuals, personalised advertising, and automated cars, to name but a few examples.
Digital tools havegarnered substantial interest in the context of teaching and training in diplomatic practice. Tools such as video conferences, small online courses, and massive open online courses are changing the landscape of what is possible in the field. Conversations on digital tools for teaching diplomacy are important in order to keep diplomatic teaching and training up to date, offer the best possible experience for participants, and reach those that might have been excluded previously.
November 2019, when the film Bladerunner is set, came and went. How well did this film – made in 1982 – predict the future? Well, we don’t have androids (replicants) that think and look like us, and there are no flying cars (yet). But, technology has progressed greatly, what seemed like science fiction then – video calling for example – is now part of our everyday lives.