State Department Urges Employees Around the World to Use AI

The U.S. State Department is rolling out a new artificial intelligence (AI) hub as more individuals around the globe experiment with artificial intelligence. In an announcement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the hub was a central point for all things artificial intelligence for the department’s employees.

Blinken explained that the platform, dubbed AI State, provided both informal and formal training, including videos on how to get started. The hub is comprised of all internal departmental AI tools, use cases and libraries.

In his statement, Blinken encouraged everyone to try the hub out, test it out, explore and give input because this is a work in progress. He went on to note that he believes that in the next 10 years, artificial intelligence will be fully integrated into the state department’s activities.

Last fall, the state department launched an enterprise artificial intelligence strategy focused on an artificial intelligence-ready workforce. The department has also been looking into the use of generative AI to assist employees in planning their futures.

Blinked argued that the primary motivation for the department’s use of artificial intelligence was saving employees time so they could work on other tasks and improving analysis. This recent launch comes just months after the department launched North Star, an artificial intelligence tool that can conduct an analysis of and compile summaries of news stories in more than 100 languages.

The State Department’s chief data and AI officer, Matthew Graviss, revealed that public diplomacy officers in the agency were already using North Star. The undersecretary for public affairs and public diplomacy, Elizabeth Allen, estimated that North Star could save public diplomacy officers hundreds of thousands of hours over the next 12 months.

Allen called attention to the fact that there were many opportunities in the communication space to use artificial intelligence and added that public affairs offices also needed to make sure that any outputs from generative AI were being reviewed by people. This, she noted, was important for any public communications.

In addition, the department also launched a chatbot dubbed State Chat, with Graviss revealing that his team adjusted the tool when needed.

The state’s chief information officer, Kelly Fletcher, also revealed that training was compulsory for those intending to use any of the new artificial intelligence tools. Furthermore, the state’s IT officers also monitor tools such as State Chat for criminal activity.

Fletcher explained that from their end, they could see the prompts individuals were using, which could help inform how innovation was happening in this space as well as how this tech was being used.

With major social media actors such as Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ: META) integrating AI into their platforms, it may just be a matter of time before artificial intelligence is an integral part of the way people work and communicate.

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