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Please Give Your Feedback: Use Generative AI to Decipher the Foreign Affairs Manual

By Wayan Vota on April 16, 2024

Foreign Affairs Manual genai

The Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) is a comprehensive and authoritative source for the US State Department’s organization structures, policies, and procedures. The FAM governs the operations of the State Department, the Foreign Service and, when applicable, other federal agencies.

However, the FAM policy is structured into 20 volumes, and each volume is further divided into chapters. The long volumes and their chapters address different areas of responsibility and operational actions. For instance, there are volumes dedicated to personnel, consular affairs, security, and medical services, among others.

The FAM can be confusing and opaque, even for State Department professionals.

Introducing GenAI FAM Policy Bot

I want to help USAID and State Department staff better decipher and understand the Foreign Affairs Manual policies and regulations. This will help staff and contractors do their jobs faster, better, and in compliance with the many FAM policies.

Two months ago, I brought together a team of Zambian software developers to create this new Generative AI solution. We are using custom GenAI software that’s been trained on the full FAM. This is a beta version of our tool and we’d love your feedback on how it works and what questions is does/doesn’t answer correctly.

Your input will help us improve the Policy Bot. Our next version will include the Foreign Affairs Handbooks (FAHs). What else should we include to help you understand regulations? Please tell us in the comments!

Other Generative AI Tools for You

I’ve been working on Generative AI tools since I asked you in 2020: Bot or Not: Can You Tell What is Human or Machine Written Text? Since then, I’ve created several GenAI solutions to help us all navigate USG rules and regulations and digital development topics using retrieval-augmented generation. RAG grounds LLMs in public facts and can provide links to the source documentation to verify answers.

What is your regulatory challenge? I’m happy to build a bot to solve your problems too.

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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of his employer, any of its entities, or any ICTWorks sponsor.
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