Artificial Intelligence and Strategic Intent in National Strategies

Although strategic intent is used more in management I find it an interesting term for discussions of the national artificial intelligence strategies. Because if we look at strategies on AI it is important consider what direction it is going. Is there any plan that is more bold than others or more clear on certain matters?

Strategic intent: in the field of management and organizational development, strategic intent is defined as a compelling statement about where an organization is going that succinctly conveys a sense of what that organization wants to achieve in the long term.

In short it is the overall direction of the strategy.

It becomes unclear in many strategic initiatives what the author or people who produced it set out to do in the first place. Indeed what is the problem, vision or mission for the whole strategic project? Certain strategies place this front and centre in the title such as the French AI strategy that talks of meaningful AI and the British one that is ‘deal’ with the sector in a way of a partnership between public and private to succeed.

I think when reading a strategy relating to AI it can be easy to get lost in a maze of regular goals (we want more science, more money, more state initiative etc.) without staking out a direction. Strategy insinuates a type of leadership after all, to create clarity in a messy situation, and perhaps it could be hoped that it would not end up making the topic more abstract and messy.

To me the follow-up and following through in a dynamic changing environment is the more exciting bit about these strategies. What can a strategy do to hold you to account, and what can it not say that you have to cover at a later time. The strategic choices we make may reveal equally what we forget, and that could be just as valuable as a strategy that mentions everything.

On the other hand one could think that the strategic intent in some cases may be more covert, as the intention could be to enable a synthesis or collective action for common goals through a coordination effort drenched in such vagueness.

What can be a achieved does not depend on a strategy, but it can be a useful tool to state what is important or not, as such strategic intent certainly deals with power relations. Strategy as I have mentioned in earlier articles lends itself to the etymology of the ‘general’ as such with military associations. If a ruling part and government is in collaboration and something is mentioned or purposefully forgotten.

These are some thoughts on the topic of AI and strategic intent.

This is #500daysofAI and you are reading article 246. I am writing one new article about or related to artificial intelligence every day for 500 days. My current focus for 100 days 200–300 is national and international strategies for artificial intelligence.




AI Policy and Ethics at Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own.

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Alex Moltzau

Alex Moltzau

AI Policy and Ethics at Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own.

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