Article Review On The Popular Musicology And Its Value On Socialization Writing Sample

1.0 Introduction 

The topic on the value of popular musicology in socialization is essential not only for the academic purposes, but for the entertainment reasons. While there are various books that have delved into the issue of musicology, it is essential to know their conclusion in terms of analysis. For the reasons of the review, this article will focus on the book entitled The Ashgate research companion to popular musicology by Scott in 2016 as the first source for analysis and Developing a musicology of rock by Moore and Martin as the book for comparison. It is essential to learn that musicology as a learning concept has been instrumental in creating the space for socialization among the people involved. Thus, it is essential to analyze the contribution of musicology to socialization. However, in identifying and creating the analysis, it is vital to consider the pieces of literature and their opinions on the same. Thus, as will be observed in this discussion, there is the delving into the various assertions by different authors and their contribution on the same. Notable is that the peer review sources will be compared in terms of their analysis and conclusions on musicology and its connections to the socialization concept. Noteworthy is that the analysis through various authors and drawing of the insights from the books should be compared and reviewed for comprehensiveness. As will be highlighted in this paper, the review entails the analysis of peer-reviewed sources and their connection with the topic on the value of popular musicology in socialization.

2.0 Summary of the Articles

2.1 The Ashgate research companion to popular musicology

The author asserts that the popular musicology fuels musicality as a concept to understand the aspects within the musical texts. In connection to the topic of the value of popular musicology in socialization, the author opines that there are various and numerous theoretical models that popular musicologists draw from sociology. There is higher diversity in musicology, making finding a party connected to particular popular music (Scott 2016, p.2). The United States is currently standing out as one of the countries with higher recognition for the musicology concept to the extent that the citizenry engages in the learning process. As a matter of connecting to the value of popular musicology in socialization, it is essential to learn that the theme of musicality is creating interaction of people at the learning and implementation stages. Popular musicology as a theme can be identified as a branch and subset of critical musicology. However, the author confirms that it is more interested in a particular area than the other known genres and regions. In connection to socialization, the author contends that an increasing number of people and audiences are trooping in to conform to the ideals of popular musicology.

The article has been divided into two main categories in which one is involved with the question of identity, ethnicity and place. On the other hand, there is the classification in terms of musical genres, artists and albums. In connection to the value of popular musicology in socialization, the book is categorical in pointing out that popular musicology is ensuing cultural and social dominance. The author points out that popular musicology is confined and focused on the specific area of recorded music. However, he quickly asserts that there are chances for the concept to broaden up to include more broad categories in the musical world. The definition of the term popular proved to be a hurdle as the term pointed at various scopes of understanding and insight. As opined by the author, popular music is essential for designating and taking the studies of cultural theories in the past (Scott 2016, p.5). Further, it should be recognized that the concept of musicology was more concerned with the establishment of the closer link between social class and popular meanings. According to the author, moral outrage in connection to popular music has a long history, from waltz to gangster rap. The author concludes that despite the evidence demonstrating that popular musicology is the way cultural features are used, it builds identity and cultural competencies.

2.2 Developing a Musicology of Rock by Moore and Martin

The author asserts in this case that popular musicology recognizes the field of music studies linked to renowned pop music. Further, there are assertions that popular musicology is concerned mainly with music for commercial and entertainment purposes. In this context, the authors are more determined to find and locate music practices, meaning, and values through cultural contexts. The authors, in this case, have identified and excellently categorized the music styles into various classes. Popular musicology can be classified as western music or non-western music at the general level. On a specific note, the classification can be grouped as Dixieland jazz style, as distinct from jazz style in general. When the music is looked at from the perspective of rock, there is the element of expression of emotions, authenticity, and feelings (Moore and Martin 2018, p.6). Thus, in this context, there is the expression of popular musicology in terms of the cultural identities and classification in line with the style recognized by different societies. For instance, the rock for the western world and its meaning for the same.

The authors, in this case, are more inclined and interested in the critical analysis of the music itself. Further, there is the endeavor by the authors to ensure that they establish the connection of the music to the values and cultural perspectives. There is the rapid and versatile evolvement of the tools used in the critical analysis of popular music. It is essential to consider that understanding popular musicology from intercultural and transcultural platforms has been instrumental in understanding the social context of the music. A musicologist of popular music is oriented and drawn to the side through training by specific subject matter that he recognizes. It is essential to look at musicology from all perspectives, not only to confine it to the traditional angle, which has full concept critics. The music consumers can be categorized into various classes, including immanent who are considered those who inhere the music. Also, the poetic categories have the responsibility of appearing at the vantage point of the producers. Lastly, the esthetic is more concerned with the appearance of musicology in the public domain (Moore and Martin 2018, p.8). The rule of various popular musicology is dictated by the cultural attachment and difference in the composition and consumption of such songs. The authors asserts that the popular musicology should be compatible with the social responses it is expected to have and defined in general terms.

3.0 Critique and Analysis of the Sources

3.1 The Ashgate research companion to popular musicology

The author of the book has exuded higher level of understanding in the concept of popular musicology and its value to the socialization. Specifically, the strength in the book is picked from the point where the author’s popular musicology is aimed at understanding the music texts. While the author delves more into the academic parts and understanding of the concept, it can be linked to the value of socialization in a broader overview. For example, the author contends that higher diversity of musicology makes it to find parts in connection to particular music. It is easily conceivable that the book has highly and comprehensively pointed out the academic views of popular musicology by stating including theoretical models. Notable is the connection between the author’s view and the topic where he says that concepts are drawn from sociological disciplines and activities. The current adequacy of listening and consuming popular music where people are confronted with older music is a concept of musicalization in progress (Lepa et al., 2020, p.191). From the immediate assertions, it is evidenced that musicalization is gradual and indiscriminative. Thus, it is understood that the author is evident in the theoretical aspects of popular musicology and its connection to socialization. Further, the strength of the article is noted on it expounding on the theoretical models academically and its explanation on the gradual process of musicalization.

Even though the book is instrumental in pointing out the connection between the popular musicology and its value in socialization, the gap exists in its application in practical context. Specifically, the book is inclined to the academic and confined to the contribution of the concept to the theoretical platform. Considering the topic on the value of popular musicology on socialization, the book is not adequate in providing practicality and direct link on the topic. The argument is that despite the disclosure of inclinations and social characteristics in the research, it is vital that we get experience on how popular musicology changes the people (Haynes and Nowak 2021, p.450). On the same note, there is the understanding created by the author that there is the soaring popularity of musicology in the United which makes it to be focused in a given country. A more concerning aspect is the idea that there is contradiction in various assertions provided by the author in the book. For example the author states that popular musicology can be regarded as a subset of critical musicology. On the other hand, there is the claim that there is diversity in the musicology making it to have application in different concepts and genres.

While there are point outs on the strengths and gaps for this particular article, the most remarkable standpoint is that popular musicology draws various theoretical models from sociology. On the same note, the notable point is that popular musicology is driven by critical musicology, which is driven by the urge to understand the meanings embedded in the musical texts. On the verge of ensuring that there is realized value of socialization, it is crucial to contending that people should know the musical texts and meanings of the musical context. In terms of the area of focus on the value of popular music on socialization, it is confirmed that the theoretical ideas are relevant and instrumental in the connection of the variables. For instance, the theory model is an academically proven concept in terms of applicability making the mentioning in the text directive and specific. Even though it is confirmed that the theoretical concept is essential for understanding the topic, the element of practicality and applicability is equally essential. The standard theories of learning are more inclined to acquire identifiable knowledge and skills in a stable and definable manner (Engeström 2001, p.137). Therefore, it is within the confines of facts that the book has been crucial in showing and demonstrating the importance of theoretical understanding of sociology on various variables.

3.2 Developing a Musicology of Rock

From the book above, it is recognized that the author points out that popular musicology is more inclined to the renowned musical genres in the entertainment world. On the same note, popular musicology is in most cases concerned with commercial and entertainment purposes. There is the strength noted from this assertion when looked at from the perspective of the value of popular musicology in socialization. Specifically, the author gives a precise contribution of the popular musicology concept in the current entertainment and commercial world. In popular musicology, the noted points of economic exploitation and sociopolitical importance led to the exclusion of disadvantaged people in society (Morrison 2019, p.785). Thus, it is recognized that the authors Moore and Martin were elaborate and factual in pointing the contribution of popular musicology on the entertainment and commercial world. Additionally, the strength of the book concerning the value of popular musicology in socialization is confirmed when the author opines that popular musicology should comply with specific social responses. The essence of this is that it can have a definite and identifiable identity in larger contexts. Therefore, there is the connection of popular musicology on entertainment and commercialization which gives the strength to the relevance with the value of popular musicology in socialization.

Nevertheless, there are noted weaknesses in the assertions particularly in line with the value of popular musicology in socialization. For example, the authors claim that there is versatility in terms of the evolvement of the tools used in the critical analysis of popular music. From the specific viewpoint, it is not clear on the tools and the precise genre of the music. Besides, it could have been excellent if the authors compared their conclusion in terms of time and period. For instance, the information age has seen various musicology concepts evolving from the traditionally known environments to the current modern spaces. Fanatics can influence the circulation of a given piece of art including popular music using the information and data from social media. With the increase in the use of social media and digital platforms, it has come to be realized that fans can play part in the decision-making of popular musicology (Zhang and Negus 2020, p.500). The fact that the authors in the book Developing a Musicology of Rockdid not identify the tools and the media left a gap in their analysis and findings. Additionally, the authors are more confined to the analysis of the specific genre of music in this case rock as opposed to a broader spectrum of musicology. Therefore, it is improbable to objectively create an understanding of the value of popular musicology in socialization.

Regardless of the strengths and gaps identified in the book, it is appropriate to state that it has comprehensively given an insight on the value of popular musicology in socialization. Notable is that the strengths supersedes the gaps within this particular context of the topic. Notable is that the book is precise in creating the understanding of popular musicology out of the academic context and building on the reality picture. Additionally, the book is more into the practical context and creating the understanding and insight on the relationship between the popular musicality and the features of the social and economic environment. Popular music is considered as one of the manifestations in the popular culture because it is identified by people in their younger age then later in life through films and entertainments (Kondracka-Szala and Michalak, M., 2019, p.23). From this immediate point out, it is appropriate to give credit to the authors Martin and Moore in that they confirmed the broadness of popular musicology. Specifically, it is clear in their claims that the popular musicology is more essential for the functions of music such as entertainment and commercialization of the same. Moreover, it is within the context of entertainment which makes the concept of musicology more compatible to the idea of socialization among the people.

4.0 Comparison of the Articles to the Main Point of Argument

The main point of discussion, in this case, is the value of popular musicology on socialization in various scopes of life. It is critical to understand that socialization in the music context is first ensured through the participation of different people in society. Considering the arguments by Scott (2016), there is diversity in popular musicology, making it difficult to differentiate it from the popular culture. In essence, the author asserts a connection between popular musicology and diversity, leading to the understanding that there is the aspect of participation by various people. On the other hand, Developing musicology of rockby Moore and Martin states the concept of popular musicology in entertainment and commercialization. In the commercialization of popular musicology, there is a division where cultural participation and oral performance are changed to commodities (Lange 2015, p.106). The conclusion provided by Moore and Martin on commercialization is not adequate in giving musical participation. Further, it is informed by the secondary influences of music emerging from social constructs such as culture. Thus, it is appropriate to claim that acknowledgment of popular musicology in terms of diversity gives more room for participation in return, ensuring socialization.

Additionally, popular musicology creates value in socialization by increasing the cultural cohesion by people of the same society meeting together in the events. For instance, during the football matches at the global stages, there is the singing of the national anthem. It is easier to spot people, including the fanatics singing along to the anthem, thereby observing uniformity. Scott (2016) confirms that cultural sociology dominated popular musicology in the beginning and has remained the center of influence in the analysis (Scott, 2016, p.3). It is essential to realize that the book is creating an excellent narrative between the concept of culture and popular musicology to the extent that the relationship can be witnessed. On the other hand, Developing musicology of rockby Moore and Martin is silent on cultural perspectives of popular musicology. Instead, the authors contend that popular musicology is concerned with the aesthetic value and contribution to the musicology concept (Martin and Moore, 2018, p.6). Regarding the value of musicology on socialization, it is precise that Scott has created an understandable position on the culture and popular musicology. According to socialization, culture plays an essential role in bringing people together, particularly when music is involved.

On the same note, socialization is attained through popular musicology by enabling people to understand what others are thinking in various societies. It is easier to understand the thinking and beliefs through music, for instance, by looking at the lyrics. The assertions by Scott is that popular musicology is concerned with the critical aspect of the concept. Critical musicology is driven by the urge to develop an insight into the meanings embedded in the musical texts. When recording the musical document, it is essential to note its semantic and broader meaning to understand the contexts (Calvo-Zaragoza and Pacha 2020, p.8). From the precincts of understanding, it is precise that the texts of a given song, when written in a language that is not understandable to a given group, might not make sense. However, Developing musicology of rockby Moore and Martin is categorical to classify the popular musicology in terms of economic, ethnic, and commercial perspectives. Thus, in comparison between the two sources in terms of understanding other members of the society, there is an element of complementarity. For instance, Scott’s Ashgate research companion to popular musicology is concerned with the popular musicology being conscious of music text. On the other hand, Moore and Martin emphasize the classification of music on ethnic lines to understand the two.

Lastly, Scott asserts that popular musicology is a subset of critical musicology unlike Moore and Martin who engages the theme in context of different cultures not academic formation. In the first article by Moore and Martin, there is the expression of the theme of musicology in line with its impact on the cultural and emotional expression. However, looking at the second article by Scott, there is the identification of popular musicality as a form of academic engagement where the students are embroiled in a context where they are driven by the urge to understand the meanings of musical texts. Thus, in the connection with the topic on the value of popular musicology in socialization, the article by Martin and Moore is more elaborate. Specifically, the article is precise on the impact of various categories of music in the society especially in the social context. Another notable difference is in the expression of the popular musicality in the societal context where Scott attributes the expression of the theme in the United States alone. On the other hand, Moore and Martin are expressing the concept in the context of different societies and cultures including the western and non-western societies. Notable is that there is the space for incorporation of the western culture in the various societies including Korean system to ensure a new style of art including dancing (Lee 2021, p.1402). It is within the context of the popular musicology that the socialization is brought into the precise understanding.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the two sources have expounded on the theme of popular musicology in relation to its value in socialization. Notable is that the main book for the review by Scott has given more relevant connection with the main topic of discussion in this article. For instance, the point out on the musical text through the concept of critical musicology is essential in creation of understanding towards the learning of various norms and cultures of other people. Thus, in the context of socialization, the new knowledge crated in the article by Scott is more relevant. On the other hand, Moore and Martin in their assertions are more contradictory and are marked by many gaps thereby crippling their assertions and conclusions. The value of popular musicology is attributed to its contributions on the socialization which is more conforming to the assertions by the authors. This article endeavored to find out the contributions of the popular musicology on the socialization and the society in the broader context. The conclusive remarks is that the theme of popular musicology is contributing adequately to the understanding of the socialization. It is recognized within the two sources that the theme of popular musicology is more on the practicality and academics which Scott has elaborated excellently than Moore and Martin.

Bibliography

Calvo-Zaragoza, J., Jr, J.H. and Pacha, A., 2020. Understanding optical music recognition. ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR)53(4), pp.1-35. Retrieved from: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1908.03608

Engeström, Y., 2001. Expansive learning at work: Toward an activity theoretical reconceptualization. Journal of education and work14(1), pp.133-156. Retrieved from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13639080020028747

Haynes, J. and Nowak, R., 2021. We were never cool: Investigating knowledge production and discourses of cool in the sociology of music. The British Journal of Sociology72(2), pp.448-462. Retrieved from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/1468-4446.12829

Kondracka-Szala, M. and Michalak, M., 2019. Popular music in the educational space of Polish preschools–the teacher’s perspective. International Journal of Music Education37(1), pp.22-42. Retrieved from: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0255761418789969

Lange, B., 2015. Folk Music and Commercialization in Danubian Trances and Boheme. Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture7(1), pp.97-115. Retrieved from: https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.866.510&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Lee, J.W., 2021. Olympic Winter Games in Non-Western Cities: State, Sport and Cultural Diplomacy in Sochi 2014, PyeongChang 2018 and Beijing 2022. The International Journal of the History of Sport, pp.1-22. Retrieved from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09523367.2021.1973441

Moore, A.F. and Martin, R., 2018. Rock: The primary text: Developing a musicology of rock. Routledge. Retrieved from: https://api.taylorfrancis.com/content/books/mono/download?identifierName=doi&identifierValue=10.4324/9780429490170&type=googlepdf

Morrison, M.D., 2019. Race, Blacksound, and the (Re) Making of Musicological Discourse. Journal of the American Musicological Society72(3), pp.781-823.

Scott, D.B. ed., 2016. The Ashgate research companion to popular musicology. Routledge. Retrieved from: https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=gf3OCwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=The+Ashgate+

Zhang, Q. and Negus, K., 2020. East Asian pop music idol production and the emergence of data fandom in China. International Journal of Cultural Studies23(4), pp.493-511. Retrieved from: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1367877920904064

Article Review: Do Distracting Activities Increase Tolerance For An Infant Cry? Essay Example

Purpose of the study

The primary purpose of the study was to establish whether the availability and engagement in distracting activities increase a parent’s or caregiver’s tolerance for an infant’s cry. The article recognizes while crying is developmentally emblematic, inconsolable crying might have adverse effects not only on the caregiver but also to the child (Glodowski & Thompson, 2017). Many parents identify crying as a significant source of concern which often results in frustrations and guilt when caring for the children under the age of one year. Distress associated with managing a crying child might prompt adverse reactions from parents often resulting in child neglect and maltreatment. The rationale of the study is grounded on the fact that inconsolable crying is the primary precursor for infant maltreatment. Therefore, there is validation on conducting research aimed at establishing whether and how distracting activities such as squeezing a soft material decreases the aversiveness of inconsolable crying. Primarily, the availability and engagement in distracting activities is intended to minimize parents’ distress while facilitating infant safety.

Participants and Settings

The study examined the availability and effects of distracting activities on six undergraduate students for a recorded infant cry. The study was conducted in a small research center in the Psychology department in Western New England University (Glodowski & Thompson, 2017). Thirty-seven undergraduate students at the Western New England University completed the screening process to identify eligible individuals for the study. The screening process encompassed the no activities condition to establish the respondents who terminated the session within five minutes of the assigned ten minutes session as such providing a ground for the introduction of an escape through the distracting activities. Six individuals, three male and three female of an average age of 19 and half years old were identified as eligible respondents. While none of the participants was a parent, all participants reported having babysitting experience with young infants.

Dependent Variable

The dependent variable in the study is the tolerance rate of a parent or caregiver to an infant’s cry subject the availability of distracting activities. The tolerance rate was measured in terms of the duration that the participants could withstand the recorded infant cry. The measurement of latency to stop the recorded cry involved the application of a computer program that subtracted the time when the start button was clicked from the time the stop button was clicked (Glodowski & Thompson, 2017). For accuracy, an independent individual used a stopwatch to measure the variable for the first participant to validate the computer program. The respondents were instructed to click start on the laptop which initiated the recorded version of the crying baby and to click the stop when they could no longer withstand the crying.

Independent variables

The independent variable is the distracting activities that the researcher provided to increase tolerance to the recorded cry. These activities included a stress ball, crossword puzzle and an iPhone that was loaded with various electronic games. A laptop was utilized to record each participant’s duration of engagement with each activity. An observer recorded the onset of involvement in the alternative activity when the participant was involved in the event for three consecutive seconds and offset when the participants stop distracting him or herself for three successive seconds (Glodowski & Thompson, 2017). The observation associated with the stress ball was grounded on contact with one hand; the puzzle involved holding a writing material in one hand while looking at the puzzle while the iPhone encompassed contact with one hand while looking at the screen.

Research Design

The study utilizes a mixed-method research design since the research is grounded on both qualitative and quantitative characteristics. The measurement of the variables utilizes both research designs where numbers are used to account for the duration while descriptions provide for explanations on what the researchers observed.

Results and Discussion

The results indicate distracting activities are applicable in increasing the tolerance of inconsolable crying in some individuals. Through comparing sessions with the availability of alternative activities and no distracting activities, three participants tolerated the crying longer when there were distracting activities. The three participants that endured the crying for a longer duration showcased a high engagement with the alternative actions available (Glodowski & Thompson, 2017). The remaining three respondents tolerated the cry for similar duration irrespective of whether there were alternative activities or not.

Additionally, the three participants illustrated varying levels of engagement with alternative activities. However, the results did not provide a conclusion on the relevance and impact of the level of involvement in distracting activities and ability to tolerate inconsolable crying. Indeed, the data of one participant illustrate a high level of engagement which unfortunately did not increase the tolerance to inconsolable crying (Glodowski & Thompson, 2017).

However, the lack of a definite conclusion on the impact of engagement on the duration of tolerance to inconsolable crying might be grounded on the undefined functional properties of the distracting activity since there is an aspect of a lack of experimental evidence. Indeed, it is possible that the distracting activities would have appealed to many participants had the researcher selected a broader range of activities or selected the events based on individual preferences (Glodowski & Thompson, 2017). Essentially, the results of the study indicate the availability and engagement in distracting activities increase some individuals’ tolerance to infant crying as evident in half of the participants in the survey who tolerated the crying for more extended periods with the availability of distracting activities. The research provides preliminary evidence to parents and caregivers to engage in alternative activities in the event they are distressed in periods of inconsolable crying.

Analysis and Critique

Research in efforts of decreasing children maltreatment relies on the aspect of parental knowledge; therefore, validating efforts of recommending specific strategies to caregivers. While the study emphasizes the importance of compassionate care and sensitivity to a child’s needs, it suggests distracting activities for caregivers who have tried and failed to meet the expectation of the infants and are feeling frustrated. However, as mentioned, the researcher was unable to experiment to determine the functional characteristics of the distracting activities. Individuals across the globe have different personalities and as such different tastes and preferences. It is deductible that the distracting activities might have appealed to more participants if the researcher provided a wide variety of choices or if the alternative activities provided to each was grounded on their tastes and preferences.

Moreover, the preparation and subsequently the research conducted did not capture all the variables that encompass the behavior and reactions of parents during an inconsolable crying episode. Therefore, for valid and reliable conclusions, it is necessary for the research to be replicated with infants and young mothers under the standard caregiving situations. Undeniably, it is premature to make recommendations to caregivers based on the results of the study which showcased that availability of distracting activities provided relatively small increases in latency to infant crying and for only half of the respondents in the survey. Another study in a regular caregiving environment is necessary for generalizing the findings and pinpointing as to whether, indeed, distracting activities improve the caregivers’ social behavior and subsequently increasing the infant’s safety. In conclusion, while laboratory studies such as the current one on whether distracting activities increases the tolerance to inconsolable crying are a good starting point, there is a necessity of surveys that focus on measuring behavior directly.

References

Glodowski, K., & Thompson, R. (2017). Do distracting activities increase tolerance for an infant cry? Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 50(1), 159-164.

Artificial Intelligence And The Future Of Global Diplomacy Sample Paper

Introduction

It is the age of technology. With the increase in automatization more and more countries across the globe have developed and are developing systems that no longer require human beings to operate. Indeed, these new creations are not only automated but also autonomous. Significant developments in artificial intelligence (AI) over the past two decades have contributed to the extensive debate on the potential social, economic and security impact of AI-associated technologies. However, little or no attention has been paid the effects of AI on international relations and global diplomacy. It is crucial to investigate how technology impacts the activities of diplomats and policymakers.

While military strategists emphasize the importance of the potential utility of the autonomous systems, with the argument that these technologies can perform tasks that humans cannot, in addition to saving costs and ultimately reducing military casualties there are concerns on the application of the technique particularly in identification, selection, and implementation of force targets. Indeed, these concerns span not only ethical and legal considerations but also diplomatic ones. The autonomy of artificial weapons systems is accelerating largely outside both public and academic attention in international relations and global diplomacy. AI continues to change the environment in which diplomacy is practice in addition to providing new techniques for decision making and implementation. The paper argues while in no small extent AI will continue to promote efficiency in global diplomacy, there are various challenges associated with Al including a potential change in global power with devastating consequences and the possibility of destabilizing democracy and social equality.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

The term intelligence describes the ability to develop and apply different skills and knowledge to address a particular problem. Artificial intelligence encompasses the term intelligence that was traditionally only applicable as a characteristic in human beings. The fact that artificial systems are inherently different from human beings, there is a necessity to define in entirety what the term intelligence means (Surber, 2018, p. 2). Therefore, it encompasses the ability to understand, learn and adapt to facilitate the achievement of goals in a wide range of environments. Primarily, intelligence measures an agent’s ability to attain objectives in a diverse environment (Surber, 2018, p. 3). Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to technologies that can imitate human intelligence including performing activities that necessitate learning and thinking and subsequently problem solving. The term artificial intelligence currently represents the most financially lucrative scientific field in contemporary society. Many scholars acknowledge AI and related technologies as the fuel for the fourth industrial revolution associated with the 21st century (Brunette, Flemmer, & Flemmer, 2009, p. 385). AI is both a scientific and research field. As a scientific field, AI contemporary history is associated with the developments of electronic computers.

On the other hand, as a research tool AI is grounded on the ideology that every aspect of intelligence can be in theory so precise that technologies could be developed to simulate it (Surber, 2018, p. 3). In entirety, AI can be considered a scientific undertaking that intends to create software and machines that showcase traits that resemble human brain regarding intellect, problem-solving, discernment, learning and planning among other functions associated with the human brain. Grounded on the definition of AI there are several sections related to AI and related technologies including knowledge engineering, machine learning, reinforcement learning among others. Each of these parts reflects on the different functional aspects of AI and associated technologies. For instance, knowledge engineering involves designing and creating AI systems that have extensive information about the world. On the other hand, machine learning illustrates the probabilistic approach to AI (Surber, 2018, p. 4).

How does Artificial Intelligence operate?

There is a difference in the operations of an automated and an autonomous system. To understand the implications of AI in future global diplomacy, it is necessary to seek insight into how AI operates. A computerized system is one where a machine, for instance, a computer, executes tasks by a clear-if-then-else, rule-based structure works deterministically implying that in the event of similar input there is an expectation of similar output unless there is a system failure. An autonomous system, on the other hand, is one that does not depend on any predetermined set of rules and as such make decisions probabilistically (Cummings, 2017, p. 3). Therefore, for an autonomous system, given a set of inputs, the system makes guesses and subsequently decides on the best course of action. Unlike automated systems where a similar collection of data yield the same output that is not guaranteed in autonomous systems. To a large extent, the autonomous systems associated with AI works like the human mind but without the emotions.

Human beings intelligence primarily follows the perception-cognition-action sequence, in that individuals perceive something, think about what to do regarding what they have understood and proceed to take an action factor weighing various options (Cummings, 2017, p. 4). Artificial intelligence is programmed to adopt the perception-cognition-action processing loop through certain activities including how the computer senses the world, processes the information through utilizing various optimization, and verification algorithms and a such proceed to select the best course of action.

While the operations of AI intend to imitate the human brain, there are critical differences between the human mind and AI. For instance, how the world model is constructed in AI to no small extent determines the effectiveness of these systems. Autonomous systems that operate in a dynamic environment such as the contemporary society need to build and continually adapt to adequately reflect the prevailing conditions (Cummings, 2017, p. 4). The systems must perceive the world through various technologies such as cameras and microphones and then proceed to reconstruct what they observe in a way that the “brain” of the computer can understand. For instance, autonomous UAV navigation is relatively simple since the world model associated with its operations involves maps that the systems utilized to determine the best routes and no-fly zones given a set of input.

In comparison, driverless cars are much more complicated since there are various variables associated with effective operations. Driverless vehicles need mapping abilities, an in-depth understanding of all the nearby cars, pedestrians and cyclists in addition to anticipating the direction of these entities for the next few seconds (Cummings, 2017, p. 4). Therefore, the world model of driverless cars is much more advanced compared to UAV. The fact that human beings drive with minimal cognitive efforts reflects on the complexity associated with the operating and utilizing AI. The efforts in designing and applying AI is particularly challenging to international relations and global diplomacy since politics is one example of human behavior that is difficult to automate.

Artificial Intelligence and Global Diplomacy

Global diplomacy borrows from theoretical and conceptual foundations of contemporary diplomatic activities and practices intending to gain insight to facilitate an in-depth and practical approach to international politics and affairs. Therefore, there is a relationship between diplomacy and geopolitics and foreign affairs (Murray, Sharp, Wiseman, Criekmans, & Melissen, 2011, p. 715). Indeed, in the current society, the entirety of diplomacy constitutes geopolitical and geo-economic shifts that are currently taking place at both regional and global levels. Moreover, there is a relationship between diplomacy and foreign affairs in the sense that diplomacy can be considered as the activity, or a technique of representation, communication, and negotiation through which countries in addition to other international actors interact with each other (Murray, Sharp, Wiseman, Criekmans, & Melissen, 2011, p. 716). International affairs, on the other hand, describe the decisions made on behalf of a political unit, in this case, a state, that encompasses the achievement of goals with direct implications to the external environment. Therefore, diplomacy is both a foreign affairs input and output. As an input, it constitutes all the different diplomatic factors that influence foreign policy decision making while as an output it diplomacy is somewhat instrument in the foreign policy “toolbox” (Murray, Sharp, Wiseman, Criekmans, & Melissen, 2011, p. 716)

Across all the activities associated with human beings, politics can be categorized as one of the most challenging spectrums to automate. Throughout human history, politics at both national and international levels have been primarily and fundamentally driven and supported by conscious human action and the collective actions and interactions between and among individuals and organizations (Bode & Huelss, 2018, p. 2). The current advances in AI include but not limited to autonomous weapons, automated systems, drones, and predictive analytics hold a significant prospect for changing the decision-making techniques in international politics and global diplomacy. The concept of a non-human entity influencing foreign affairs and relations has the potential of creating radical changes that could change society’s understanding of politics and diplomacy. AI has impacted diplomacy in two keys ways including changing the environment in which diplomacy is practiced and by offering new tools to diplomats to assist in diplomatic activities and practices (Grottola, 2018).

Advantages Associated with AI in Global Diplomatic Efforts

The concept of global diplomacy is associated with several practices such as reporting, consular affairs, communication, and negotiation. While the use of AL in all these practices remains limited, there are extensive discussions and efforts of the potential implementation of these technologies in diplomatic activities. For instance, concerning consular affairs and public communication, many states across the globe are making efforts to integrate AI in these practices. Indeed, AI could positively influence diplomatic activities by streamlining and making bureaucratic functions more efficient. Undeniably, the foreign policy that leverage that existing tools of diplomacy in addition to encouraging and facilitating the responsible and systematic application of AI is likely, in the future, not only to be more widely accepted but also to stand a higher chance of achieving both national and international objectives.

On the predictive analytics function, AI might shortly have very acute impacts especially for a longer timeframe. The accuracy associated with predictive analytics illustrates that policymakers and states as a whole while having a more in-depth understanding of the potential outcomes related to a specific course of action (Cummings, Roff, Cukier, Parakilas, & Bryce, 2018, p. 5). At an operational capacity, the uses and subsequently the advantages or downsizes associated with AI are unlikely to materialize soon fully. This is because there are many regulatory, ethical and technological difficulties to the full application of AI through autonomous vehicles, weapons and other physical-world systems such as robotic personal assistants (Cummings, Roff, Cukier, Parakilas, & Bryce, 2018, p. 7). However, it is notably that rapid progress is evident in efforts of overcoming these barriers and achieving the full operational implications associated with AI. It is deductible, in the future, AI and associated technologies will radically transform not only the ways decisions are made but also influence the way the policies are implemented and evaluated. The advantage of AI in global diplomatic systems is evident in the national surveillance systems of different countries. The analytic function of AI can be potentially useful in the identification of human rights violations which is an essential concept in global diplomacy.

Moreover, digitalization and technological advancements have created an essential impact on the current society. The spread of AI across the globe and the dystopian has laid on the importance of different cultures in society. For instance, the dystopian use of AI by the Chinese government has challenged the promotion of western values and interests through multilateral engagement in addition to the extensive protection of human rights in the contemporary age of exponential technological development (Grottola, 2018).

Undeniably, artificial intelligence has an influence on several issues in the international political arena and subsequently global diplomacy. Some of the common problems are the applications of AI in military practices, human security, and economics. Regarding the military sector, it is credible to conclude that the applications of autonomous weapons systems are still a long way from achieving their full potential. Indeed, a combination of several operational and doctrinal issues continues to prevent the adoption of autonomous weapons hitherto (Scott, Heumann, & Lorenz, 2018, p. 7). The fact that remotely operated vehicles are becoming increasingly popular for some applications such as aerial and undersea reconnaissance pinpoints to a future characterized by extensive applications of AI in the military. Undeniably, there is currently a significant shift between the traditional defense and non-defense industries with future implications on how military systems are not only designed but also how they are acquired.

Concerning human security at an international capacity, it is evident that AI has positive implications for human safety. However, unlocking the advantages associated with AI in human security, it is necessary to understand the role that AI performs in human security in addition to critically evaluating the difference between utilizing data and knowledge. Artificial intelligence systems have the potential to effectively and accurately sort data while human beings remain better at using knowledge to make decisions. Therefore, in efforts of reaping the advantages associated with AI in human security, it is vital for individuals to recognize the different situations and cases where data analysis is sufficient and the instances where human knowledge is necessary for effective decision making and policy development. (Scott, Heumann, & Lorenz, 2018, p. 4) Moreover, for AI to be fully functional in human security across the globe, it is necessary for proactive measures to be taken to ensure equal access to technology irrespective of the level of development.

At an economic perspective in international politics, it is conclusive that AI will continue to reshape what works looks like but is it is unlikely to fundamentally change the economic power structures as they exist in the current society. Artificial intelligence systems employed in different sectors including operational, predictive and analytical roles are likely to create significant wealth especially for countries that have fully embraced the advantages associated with AI and related technologies

Therefore, it is conclusive that AI systems and associated technologies are likely to have profound impacts on the economic and geopolitical power balances and subsequently diplomatic activities. However, for the world to fully enjoy the benefits of these technologies, it is crucial for policymakers and diplomats to make efforts to ensure they do not serve to reinforce the current inequities that exist across the globe. Indeed, as mentioned, the existing application of AI and related technologies is grounded on economic advantages and as such many are developed at a national level and the majority do not extend to the global capacity. Therefore, for the practical application of AI and associated technologies in international affairs it is necessary for international co-operation to be promoted. Additionally, in the discourse of Ai and human rights, the private sector irrespective of the country merely adheres to the general ethical values rather than binding to the existing human rights provisions which would to no small extent affect their operations and subsequently their profit margins. Therefore, there is a necessity to emphasize the importance of the existing legal and ethical practices intended to protect and preserve human rights aspects in the design and application of technology.

Adverse Consequences of AI in Future Diplomatic Efforts

There are issues associated with the application of AI in diplomatic activities. For instance, there are several privacy issues related to the surveillance function of AI technology. For example, there has been extensive international criticism on China’s program that is dedicated to socially ranking the citizens depending on the behavior of its population (Grottola, 2018). The initiative assigns scores to the citizens grounded on the data obtained through partnerships with the private sector. Although the focus is that a single program in China, the application of AI for surveillance is a practice that many governments across the globe practices. While there are tremendous benefits associated with monitoring in the international politics, many of these systems violate privacy as such ignoring the fundamental essential human rights aspects advocated for across the globe (Wagner & Furst, 2018). Indeed, in the future, AI technologies will pose a significant challenge to the efforts of enhancing democratic institutions and protecting the aspect of social equality. AI-surveillance improved practices in no small extent constrain the civil rights and liberties of individuals in different states across the globe (Wagner & Furst, 2018). Ignoring civil rights implies that there is a likelihood that the current sociocultural conflicts are likely to be exacerbated through the perpetuation of the social bias and discriminations associated with the analytic and predictive functions of the AI algorithms. While it extends beyond the features of foreign policy to address the surveillance systems that different nations acquire and utilize, it is within the domain of global diplomacy to communicate the various practices to the rest of the world.

The advent of the internet and associated technologies in the 21st century has demonstrated the tension that exists beyond national and international security considerations and the freedoms that are achieved and implied through connectivity such as freedom of speech and freedom of movement. AI is likely to aggravate this tension since it facilitates enhanced government surveillance and censorship capabilities associated with AI will reach new levels of intrusiveness as states become more and more obsessive with the notion of national security (Wagner & Furst, 2018). Indeed, while there are several advantages associated with the predictive and analytical capabilities of AI systems, the challenge to foreign policy and global diplomacy is the ability of the AI era to influence and impact enlightened agendas as the application of AI in surveillance increases in addition to the rise in hyper-competitiveness among different states especially that developed economies.

Apart from civil rights concerns and the ability of AI systems to accelerate global inequality, how and when states deploy the AI can have very devastating consequences especially in the event the country or countries in question have superior capabilities in the AI domain. Undeniably, access to and the utilization of autonomous weapons, for instance, can change the global balance of power and as such affect global diplomatic activities (Mijatovic et al., 2019, p. 29). Challenges to regional and global power may occur as different countries make efforts to leverage the AI technology to reverse any historical or potential military disadvantage with their neighbors. Indeed, with efforts to further increase the accuracy and subsequently, the trust on AI systems is likely to create a large gap between the states that are adequately equipped with the systems with the countries that lack these systems (Cancio, Hibbard, Nelson, Claudio, & Psaila, 2018). For instance, the current power gap between developed and under-developed economies is likely to increase with notably unpredictable results.

While governments that make a conscious effort to develop and utilize AI responsibly through ensuring that human beings remain the ultimate decision-makers in life and death situation might be admired, they may be putting themselves and their citizens in danger and at a disadvantage in doing so. It is acknowledged the main factor that continues to influence the proliferation of AI and related technologies is the fact that every country wants to be at an advantage in the event of a war (Cummings, Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Warfare, 2017, p. 3). As such, pursuing AI and related technologies on the military battlefield with ethics in the mix may prove as a strategic disadvantage and a luxury that only a few states can afford since many countries will be unwilling to risk their national security and interests in the efforts of facilitating international relations and global diplomacy.

Moreover, there are concerns that AI and associated military systems and the application of AI in military-related decisions are likely to undermine diplomatic efforts. For centuries, humans have explored different approaches to conflict containment and de-escalation. Indeed, the institutions and the treaties utilized in the 20th century in conflict management as an extension foreign policy, arms control and non-proliferation were not intended to assimilate the extensive developments that the society has witnessed in AI in the past five decades (Surber, 2018, p. 16). The threat associated with AI in military engagements extends beyond their potential adverse effects to global diplomatic efforts to the fear that soon the AI weapons might come from non-state actors who in most cases have no regard for international politics and the associated peace endeavors. The significant advancements in AI advancements in military technology imply that the cost of acquiring AI weapon deployment for instance through the drone deployment is already low and likely to go even more economical to fall into the scope of even ignorant terrorists (Wagner & Furst, 2018). Therefore, it is necessary to acknowledge going forward; there is a threat that comes with the increasing degree of symmetry in the use of AI between national militaries and non-state actors who often utilize violence to achieve their agendas.

It is essential to mention that AI is likely to affect global diplomatic efforts by changing the way war is conducted. In the future, it is expected that different states would engage in data warfare rather than the traditional warfare were soldiers meet and engage each other in the battlefield (Cummings, Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Warfare, 2017, p. 3). Data warfare include virtual battlefields between the different forms of AI which will seek to disable each other, automatically infecting command and control systems with disinformation and malicious code to cripple the other country AI prowess. The future battlefield may include media forgeries developed and supported by AI to induce opposing populations into relying on false information or acting contrary to their interests with maximum efficiency (Wagner & Furst, 2018). The test of the extensive adverse consequences of AI has been witnessed in many developed economies such as the USA and many European countries through aspects such as fake news campaign that have worked to misinform the general public (Wagner & Furst, 2018). In future, such actions are likely to grow in scope and depth and as such prone to be associated with adverse effects of unimaginable proportions. Indeed, virtual warfare such as media forgeries will work to damage the integrity of the democratic discourse the pillar on which current efforts of global diplomacy is grounded. Moreover, the ease of inflicting extensive damage through the application of AI illustrates that it will be easier to damage the reputation of states and associated institutions and representatives while challenging to repair (Wagner & Furst, 2018). Global diplomacy is based on the normal that nations will act and deliver to international politics as agreed upon and as such damaged reputation to no small extent illustrates the inefficiency of diplomatic efforts.

AI systems might lead to a situation where fewer human beings make high-level decisions. Additionally, at an analytical capacity, AI is associated with the automation of repetitive tasks such as monitoring aspects that are used to ensure different states comply with their treaty agreements. The effect on decision-making systems illustrates that future international politics practices will be attenuated rather than transformative.

The extensive adverse consequences to diplomatic efforts that might be related to AI in the future puts arms control and non-proliferation strategies to a whole new paradigm. There is a need to align foreign conventional foreign policies among allies in efforts of deterring misinformed applications of AI by both enemy states and nefarious non-state actors (Wagner & Furst, 2018). While many governments continue to invest in the development of AI for the future, there is little understanding inside governments and as an extension diplomats on how these technologies future and the options available to counter them in the event their application becomes excessive in addition to deteriorating intentional peace. Undeniably, governments continue to invest in AI future while ignoring their responsibility to design and articulate actionable red lines that will control the application of AI and associated technologies (Abhijeet, 2018). It is crucial for states and the international community as a whole to devise strategies and laws that will ensure AI and related technology are used according to the norms and the boundaries of international law and in the context of human rights if the advantages of AI technologies are to maximized while minimizing adverse consequences to diplomatic efforts.

Conclusion

Artificial intelligence describes a scientific endeavor that creates machines and software that are capable of imitating human intelligence and as an extension apply the perception-cognition-action processing sequence in decision making. As artificial intelligence continues to evolve, it is having a profound impact on many sectors that may be seemingly unrelated to it such as international relations and global diplomacy. While some countries, are pursuing AI technologies and their applications within the confinements of international law and the generally accepted principles of operations, others are actively doing what is necessary to achieve AI supremacy with the argument that the efforts ensure the protection of their interests. The consequences of these actions are excessive or under-utilization of AI, which threatens efforts of global diplomacy and subsequently international peace.

In the diplomatic platform, artificial intelligence influences the actions of policymakers by changing the environment, besides, to directly impacting how the decisions are made and implemented. There are many advantages associated with artificial intelligence that either directly or indirectly assists diplomatic efforts. AI directly supports various economic and social activities that enable different states to compete and as such develop. For instance, improved surveillance and autonomous weapons support global diplomacy by facilitating national and international peace. However, there are disruptive factors to diplomatic efforts associated with the rapid development of AI including changing the global balance of power and the likelihood that AI military systems and decision making will undermine the current conflict de-escalation strategies. Moreover, AI will facilitate data warfare between and among nations with devastating consequences. Undeniably, AI and related technologies pose challenges to efforts of democracy and social equality some of the most critical concepts in global diplomacy.

While it is evident AI and related technologies are here to stay; it is vital for the international community to emphasize the importance of responsible and systematic adoption of AI to facilitate practical diplomatic efforts in the future. Concerns on the application of AI in the society currently extend beyond their economic and social implications to encompass issues of international security, foreign relations, and global diplomacy. The effects of AI, directly and indirectly, influence the actions of different states in the international community. Acknowledging the potential of a full application of AI in various activities shortly, it is necessary to quantify how these technologies will affect the fundamentals of global diplomacy such as ethics and regard for human rights. Indeed, while it is vital for society to embrace autonomous systems in this technological era, it will be a waste if the technology transforms the aspects that makeup humanity.

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