On 4-5 July, AUB's Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (MSFEA) and the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (UN DPPA) brought together designers, computational linguists, public relations, and political affairs experts to explore ways of using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and social media monitoring to enhance political analysis, peacemaking, and conflict prevention efforts.
Participants included representatives from the UN Office of the Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL), the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen (OSESGY), the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), UN Global Pulse, and the Middle East Division of UN DPPA, along with researchers from AUB, Birzeit University (Palestine), the University of Edinburgh, the MIT and Max Planck Institute.“
“This is an important effort to link theory and practice on applying AI to real world challenges", stressed Prof. Ayman Kayssi, MSFEA Associate Dean, in his opening remarks.
“The workshop was a unique opportunity to share lessons learned between scholars and practitioners on the latest developments in the field of computational linguistics", highlighted Prof. Fadi Zaraket, faculty member at MSFEA and lead researcher of the project from the AUB side.
“It allowed us to better understand the potential of machine learning, Natural Language Processing and Arabic dialects", underlined Martin Waehlisch from UN DPPA. “We are still at the beginning of making full use of AI for the peace and security pillar of the UN and look forward to strengthening our close partnership with academia in this context."
Beirut, 8 July 2019