PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE PROMOTION Artificial Intelligence as a tool for diplomacy

“While governments need to regulate, they also need to ensure that they do not restrict creativity. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used as a tool to promote trade and within diplomacy, in terms of the technology supporting the functions of diplomacy and the day-to-day tasks of diplomats. In this respect, it is important to remember that AI is not an end in itself but it is only as useful as it can meaningfully support diplomats. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion itself will start integrating blockchain and AI.”

This was stated by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela during a panel discussion at the spring edition of the Malta Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Summit, taking place at St Julian’s.

In his remarks, Minister Carmelo Abela referred to the EU framework on AI and its AI guidelines, stating that, “Malta is formulating a national AI Strategy that will be ethically aligned, transparent and socially responsible to strengthen Malta’s appeal as a hub for foreign investment in this sector, while identifying the underlying skill base and infrastructure needed to support AI.”

The Maltese laws on blockchain can be used as a template on an EU-wide level. The United Nations and the Council of Europe have a role to play to ensure that AI is used respecting human rights.

The minister referred to Africa and the great opportunities it offers for companies based in Malta even in the fields of blockchain and AI: “Overseas Development Aid in Africa should embrace blockchain and AI. A practical example of how this technology is already used is remote health. If used correctly AI can reduce the world divide rather than increase it.”

The minister outlined that the 31 smaller states in the Commonwealth could be assisted by the Commonwealth Small States Centre of Excellence based in Malta that could provide a virtual space in which new or untested software or coding can be run securely for other member states.

The Malta Blockchain Summit, taking place over a three-day period, is organised by Sigma with the intent to connect global thought leaders, policy makers, investors, and blockchain and AI startups from all over the world. The forum is dedicated to blockchain and AI and its revolutionary impact on each sphere of human activities.

Source: Government of Malta