This is a digest of the advanced diplomatic webinar: ‘Big data and cyberdiplomats: ‘Big opportunities or big problems?’ held on October 10, 2013 by Mr. Francesco Vitali.
New technologies and Internet tools offer diplomats new effective ways to better run their daily duties. The possibility to access great amounts of data regarding the people and countries they are working with allow the definition of strategic activities that were not even thinkable before. Behind the opportunities offered by modern technologies, there are secret costs the cyberdiplomat should be ready to face. In the big data age, in fact, any activity can be traced, analyzed and used for specific purposes, not always licit or acceptable.
The data are acquired not only thanks to Internet tools but also through manifold smart grids or via all sorts of wearable gadget and technological device, such as tablets and smartphones. The data collected by smartphones’ inbuilt sensors, in particular, allow the implementation of a new kind of real time unprecedented global experiments in cognitive psychology and neuroscience. These data can be combined and matched with those elaborated with sciences from very different fields such as data mining and classification sciences, psycho-finance and semantic analysis and neural networks …
Therefore every single individual has become analyzable both in terms of his or her uniqueness and in terms of his or her social behavior in virtual aggregations (see social networks) or in real aggregations (as in the case of demonstrations) with other individuals. The implementation of cloud computing tools further fosters these developments.
The diplomat can play an active role in this game, but also be one of the many individual or collective targets. The different Governments and private players around the world can then be classified according to their ability to use the data: a new key geopolitical and economic power factor.
In this situation, special attention is paid to new security and defence ‘revolutionary’ projects that are being created in order to develop technological tools which allow forecasting and manipulating individual and social behavior.
We invite you to listen to the live recording of the webinar below.