architecture, Diplomacy

Cybermediation

Introduction

The development of digital technology is impacting our societies and professional fields. It is expected that the technology sector will continue to rapidly, possibly exponentially, develop in the coming years. This trend will have deep consequences in virtually every area of society.

Peacemaking has traditionally been considered a ‘low tech’ field in which inter-personal skills, savoir-faire, and emotional intelligence are considered to represent the most important attributes of a good mediator. At the same time, the field is evolving and needs to adjust to changing social contexts, which is increasingly impacted by digital technology.

Against this background, the UN Department of Political Affairs, DiploFoundation, the Geneva Internet Platform, Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, swisspeace, and researchers from Harvard University have established a consortium tasked to explore how digital technology affects mediation in preventing and resolving violent conflicts. The initiative was launched on 13 March 2018, in Geneva.

Cybermediation

The objectives of the #Cybermediation initiative are to:

  • Inform mediation practitioners about the impact of new information and communication technologies on mediation, including their benefits, challenges and risks in relation to peacemaking
  • Develop synergies between the mediation community and the tech sector
  • Identify areas of particular relevance and co-operation

aaa

The initiative focuses on four thematic areas in detail:

  • The impact of new technologies
  • Social media
  • (Big) data
  • Artificial intelligence

DiploFoundation and the Geneva Internet Platform are coordinating the activities of the thematic working groups on big data and artificial intelligence.

Stay up to date!

Subscribe to DiploNews and stay up to date with upcoming events, new publications and research, and Diplo courses and training.

Big data

The exponential growth of data in modern society brings new opportunities for better informed mediation. This working group will focus on the relevance of digital data to, for example, better understand positions and public sentiments in preparation for mediation. At the same time, it will look into some of the main challenges of using new types of data, related to the reliance on the private sector, the quality of data, as well as privacy, security, and ethical considerations.

Artificial intelligence

The field of artificial intelligence (AI) advances at a fast pace, and AI tools are increasingly used in various domains. Some of these tools could be used to facilitate and support mediation activities, such as machine translation systems and text-mining applications. There is also considerable research being done on whether AI could be used to automate certain negotiation functions (the so-called ‘autonomous negotiating agents’). This group will look at existing AI tools and their possible applications in mediation activities, while also exploring the potential role of automated and autonomous negotiation systems in mediation efforts.

Activities

DiploFoundation and the Geneva Internet Platform will conduct research and organise regular meetings (online and offline) to improve our understanding of the impact of these technologies on mediation. We will raise monthly questions about big data and AI for an online discussion about these topics.

Interested in joining the working groups on big data and AI? Send an e-mail to Katharina Höne at katharinah@diplomacy.edu.

From our blog

Report of ‘The Potential of Virtual Reality for Peace Mediation’ roundtable

DiploFoundation

Title of event: The Potential of Virtual Reality for Peace Mediation Date 5 Nov 2020    On 5 November 2020, two member organisations of the CyberMediation Network – Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) and DiploFo...

#CyberMediation Conference brings together stakeholders involved in mediation

DiploFoundation

Programme  The conference will take place on Tuesday, 19th November 2019, at DiploFoundation, WMO/OMM building, 7bis, Avenue de la Paix, Geneva. All times are in CET.  10:00 – 10:30 Welcome Coffee   10:3...

13 Dialogues on humAInism

Jovan Kurbalija

The interplay between tech and humanity stands at the core of the discussion on the future of AI (and our society). It is often centred around a few topics as described in the Socratic-style dialogues below. Please l...

[WebDebate #30 summary] AI for peacemaking: New tools

DiploFoundation

In our June WebDebate, we explored the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) for peacemaking:  the opportunities AI tools offer for mediation, the feasibility of these tools, and how they fit into the role and wo...

Training and courses

Resources

2019

Mediation and artificial intelligence: Notes on the future of international conflict resolution

Over the last years AI has emerged as a hot topic with regard to its impact on our political, social, and economic lives.... Read more...

Mediation and artificial intelligence: Notes on the future of international conflict resolution