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Diplo Blog

AI optimism in geopolitically pessimistic Davos


02 February 2024

In the serene backdrop of the Swiss Alps, the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos stands as a barometer for the year’s technological zeitgeist. Tracing back to 1996, when John Barlow’s proclamation of cyberspace’s independence echoed through these halls, WEF has consistently heralded the arrival of groundbreaking tech paradigms – from the rise of social […]

How can we deal with AI risks?

Jovan Kurbalija

08 November 2023

Artificial Intelligence

Clarity in dealing with ‘known’ and transparency in addressing ‘unknown’ AI risks In the fervent discourse on AI governance, there’s an oversized focus on the risks from future AI, compared to more immediate issues: we’re warned about the risk of extinction, the risks from future superintelligent systems, and the need to heed to these problems. […]

IGF 2023: Grasping AI while walking in the steps of Kyoto philosophers

Jovan Kurbalija

Read more on relevance of Kyoto Philosophy School for AI governance. Nishodo Kitara's wisdom helps envision an AI future as an extension of our quest for meaning.

Diplomatic and AI hallucinations: How can thinking outside the box help solve global problems?

Jovan Kurbalija

Last week, as the corridors of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) buzzed with the chatter of global leaders, our team at Diplo delved into an unusual experiment: the analysis of countries’ statements using the ‘hybrid intelligence’ approach of combining artificial and human intelligence. Some of our findings were more than just intriguing; they were paradoxical. […]

EspriTech de Genève: Nexus between technology and humanity

Jovan Kurbalija

At our last stop of the summer journey ‘Recycling ideas’, we come to Geneva, a meeting place of technology and humanity for centuries. The city’s role is gaining new relevance as we find ourselves at a turning point, facing both changes and challenges triggered by fast technological growth. Once again, humanity steps out of its […]

The Vienna Nexus: Five thinkers who coded the operating system of modernity

Jovan Kurbalija

If you look for the source code of the operating system of modernity, you will end up in Vienna between the two world wars with five main thinkers: Ludwig Von Mises, Joseph Schumpeter, Friedrich Hayek, Sigmund Freud, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Their concepts have shaped digital and AI eras: Von Mises (centrality of choice), Schumpeter (creative destruction), Hayek (centrality of knowledge), Freud (psychoanalysis), and Wittgenstein (language and probability). We should look back at their work to better understand our time and the changes that are coming.

The Ambassadors Reimagined: How Holbein’s painting can inspire global AI negotiations?

Jovan Kurbalija

The Ambassadors, Holbein's painting from 1533, has a strong symbolic meaning relevant to the AI era. Like in 16th century, we face a similar flux between the major promises of scientific progress and risks of conflicts and tensions. You can read what today's AI negotiations can learn from Holbein's ambassadors.

Renaissance and Enlightenment: Canvas for AI Era

Jovan Kurbalija

This text provides a critical analysis of the interplay between rationality and humanity, their evolution as fundamental pillars of modernity, and the challenges that AI brings to these pillars. AI technology, as the ultimate expression of rationality, is challenging human freedom to make personal, political, and economic choices. Based on the lessons from Renaissance and Enlightenment, we can aim at making the right balances between our rationality and humanity.

Ubuntu Ethos: African Insights for Ethical AI 

Jovan Kurbalija

As negotiations on AI governance unfold, Africa's participation is pivotal. The continent could contribute its Ubuntu etho-philosophy to the global shaping of AI rules. Ubuntu, deeply ingrained in African culture, champions harmonious relationships among individuals and communities. This philosophy offers valuable insights into the critical facets of AI development: epistemology, ethics, and governance.

Axial Age in China: Timeless reflections for AI era from Chinese philosophy  

Jovan Kurbalija

16 August 2023

This text delves into the wisdom of thinkers like Shang Yang, Confucius, and Lao Tze, illustrating their relevance in today's AI landscape. Their teachings could inspire striking right balances among the major dilemmas of AI era related to humanism and governance. With China at the forefront of AI innovation and being a global digital powerhouse, understanding these ancient philosophies provides invaluable insights for the AI governance.