The Department of State Unveils its First-Ever Enterprise Artificial Intelligence Strategy

The Department of State released its first-ever “Enterprise Artificial Intelligence Strategy FY 2024-2025:  Empowering Diplomacy through Responsible A I” (EAIS) on November 9, 2023. Signed by Secretary Blinken, the EAIS establishes a centralized vision for artificial intelligence (AI) innovation, infrastructure, policy, governance, and culture by inaugurating Department-wide guidance for the responsible and ethical design, development, acquisition, and appropriate application of AI.

The Department of State stands at a critical juncture where an emerging ecosystem of AI capabilities presents enormous opportunity.  This opportunity can allow the Department to leverage AI to achieve breakthroughs of all kinds – in public diplomacy, language translation, management operations, information proliferation and dissemination, task automation, code generation, and others.  However, this opportunity will require the Department to take steps to ensure ethical and responsible use.  This includes steps to protect the security and privacy of Department data and to avert biased outcomes that pose a risk to our mission and our values.

Guided by the Office of Management Strategy & Solutions’ Center for Analytics, the Fiscal Year 2024 through Fiscal Year 2025 EAIS is the product of the State Department’s AI leaders and policy experts from over 25 bureaus and offices across the enterprise, dedicated to ensuring that our adoption of AI is worthy of the Department’s excellence in diplomacy and foreign policy.

In support of the Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of AI , the EAIS centers on the vision statement, “The Department of State will responsibly and securely harness the full capabilities of trustworthy artificial intelligence to advance United States diplomacy and shape the future of statecraft.”

To guide the Department towards its vision, four goals serve as foundational targets that will enhance the Department’s AI capabilities: (1) Leverage Secure AI Infrastructure (2) Foster a Culture that Embraces AI Technology (3) Ensure AI is Applied Responsibly (4) Innovate.  Each Goal rests on specific objectives that encompass priorities identified by the Department’s AI leaders.  These relevant and achievable efforts will enable measurable advancement over the next two years.

Enhancing the use of AI throughout the Department requires broad coordination, leadership and working level alignment, financial and technical support, a trained workforce, a process for thorough and efficient legal and policy review, and a shift in the Department’s data and AI culture to create the sustainable change outlined in the strategy.

The implementation of the EAIS builds on the success of the Department’s Enterprise Data Strategy and its associated data campaigns.  The Department’s EDS Data Campaign approach is a proven force multiplier in maturing the organization’s data capabilities and will likewise be used for EAIS implementation.  Bringing together key experts and stakeholders from multiple bureaus, offices, and posts, the campaign mechanism will ensure that Department priorities anchor development and scaling of AI-powered solutions.  By delivering focused AI pilots in this manner, AI applications will receive the proper development and testing necessary to ensure safe deployment and scaling for broad department use.

For further information, please contact [email protected].