The United Nations teamed up with an artificial intelligence start-up to put technology at the service of peace between Yemen and Libya, using online input from the local population to better assess the situation and negotiate peace agreements in the two war-torn countries.
“Our goal is to apply new methods, new technologies, and new ways of thinking to the business of peacemaking,” says Daanish Masood, a political affairs officer with the U.N.’s Innovation Cell. “We’re concerned with bringing the armed conflict to an end by understanding it, tracking it, and predicting it.”
People are invited to visit a link on the internet where, anonymously, they give open-ended responses. The algorithm developed by the AI start-up Remesh allows for up to 1,000 answers to be assessed in near real-time, and participants are invited to agree or disagree with general results. In Yemen, people were questioned about the impacts of the pandemic on conflicts on the ground, and about who they thought was responsible. In Libya, they wanted to know how they felt about the U.N. proposing an interim government 10 years after the conflict started.