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Israel uses AI and metaverse to aid in digital diplomacy

One example of how artificial intelligence might improve diplomacy is an Israeli envoy greeting audiences in eight languages in their home tongues.

Earlier this year, the head of the Foreign Ministry’s digital diplomacy division, Ambassador David Saranga, tweeted videos of himself speaking in languages including Arabic, Chinese Mandarin, Persian, Greek, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, and Turkish. Despite not knowing these languages, Saranga encouraged dialogue.

In the video, Saranga’s likeness addressed Turkey and said, “I always wanted to communicate with you in the Turkish language, a language I heard in my childhood at my father’s house. Now this is possible thanks to Israeli artificial intelligence technology, which allows me to speak in any language.”

The government claims that Saranga employed a Tel Aviv-based D-ID generative AI video tool to produce digital humans who could speak many languages.

“We understand that there is a revolution right now, that the entire digital sphere is changing,” Saranga said to The Times of Israel. “And therefore, we are encouraging our people – and when I say our people I mean the embassies and the diplomats and so on and so forth – to dive into the AI world in order to see how we can use it for the public.”

In 2009, the Foreign Ministry began tweeting. The ministry currently maintains social media accounts in more than 50 languages, reaching 2 billion impressions annually and giving Israel a global presence in times of shaky international relations.

After Mahsa Amini’s death sparked widespread demonstrations in the Islamic Republic, Saranga pointed out that the ministry’s Persian-language social media content produced approximately 450 million engagements in 2022, with 93% of viewers coming from Iran.

The application of AI and the metaverse in digital diplomacy, according to Saranga, is still in its infancy. The metaverse is a virtual reality where users can interact with one another and the surroundings. The first metaverse diplomatic mission was established in 2022, according to the Israeli Embassy in South Korea.

“These two fields of metaverse and AI, we are still at the beginning of it,” Saranga said. “We are very advanced when it comes to delivering the Israeli message.”

Due of Instagram’s widespread use among small Iranian enterprises, the regime was reluctant to take it down. According to Saranga, Instagram has surpassed all other messaging apps in importance.

The ministry joined TikTok, a platform popular among young people, in 2022. “When it comes to public diplomacy, you find the public as soon as possible or you approach the public as soon as possible, which means even when they are teenagers, even before they set up their minds. And this was our thought at the very beginning, that we want to approach also the younger generation, because they consume news on TikTok.”

Tech from Israel

The Foreign Ministry praised D-ID in January for assisting it in reaching international audiences in their native tongues.

The ministry tweeted, “We know everyone’s raving about #ChatGPT but we have defiantly found our new AI passion.”

The multilingual Twitter videos that Saranga created on the D-speaking ID’s portrait platform were directly targeted at diplomatic partners. In order to develop viral efforts in the field of generative AI, the 2017 business leverages text-to-video generation of digital presenters or avatars as well as word and image generation.

D-ID is a key building block in the global generative AI space,” stated D-ID co-founder and CEO Gil Perry. The technology “is a major gateway for new users to discover and experiment with AI tools in general and AI videos in particular.”

Aware of the dangers associated with such potent technology, D-ID abides by the principles set forth by the Partnership on AI and Content Authenticity Initiative.

To stop false information, Perry stated, “We deploy detection algorithms and specialized third-party technologies.” All of our platform videos have digital watermarks to indicate that the images were created using a computer.

The Times of Israel quoted Yaniv Levi, D-VP ID’s director product marketing, as saying that political likenesses, vulgarity, and nudity are prohibited by the spoken portrait technology.

Also, D-ID is “dedicated to using its cutting-edge technology for moral, worthwhile causes,” such as social impact campaigns against domestic abuse, HIV, and Holocaust denial.

D-ID is developing in the metaverse, where users create avatars to interact.

“We are metaverse-ready. Our products are already being used there, primarily for educational purposes,” Perry says. “Looking ahead, we aim to constantly improve the quality and control users have over the digital people they create.””

Last month, D-ID introduced a platform that mimics in-person interactions with digital people created by AI.

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About MahKa

Israel uses AI and metaverse to aid in digital diplomacyMahKa loves exploring the decentralized world. She writes about NFTs, the metaverse, Web3 and similar topics.

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