The Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) plays a central role in United Nations efforts to prevent and resolve deadly conflict around the world.
Description of Activities on AI
Project 1: AI-powered large-scale synchronist dialogues
UN DPPA continues to expand its work on fostering inclusivity in peace processes through new technologies. In June 2020, the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen (OSESGY), with the support of the UN DPPA Innovation Cell and in partnership with a number of national and international non-governmental organizations, ran a first-ever AI-assisted, large-scale virtual consultation with Yemeni citizens on the opportunities and challenges of the ongoing peace process. Allowing for real-time online discussion in combination with polling, it provides the possibility for senior mediators to dialogue with and poll peace constituencies at scale, with live analysis of their views at relatively low cost. During the interactive online discussion in Yemeni Arabic dialect, over 500 Yemeni participants, a third of them women, expressed their views on a nationwide ceasefire, the future of the political process, and the need for measures to alleviate humanitarian suffering.
Project 2: Toolkit on Digital Technologies and Mediation in Armed Conflict
Description Project assesses the opportunities and risk of using digital technologies, including AI, in mediation. In July, UNDPPA hosted an online interactive briefing on how parties in armed conflicts might use Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies for political and military purposes, and the implication of such use for peace processes and negotiations. The session aimed at increasing understanding of the already extant use of AI technologies by state and non-state actors in intra-state civil wars and explored prospective applications of AI to support mediation. It was held as part of MSU’s broader XB project on Digital Technologies and Mediation in Armed Conflict.