Policy Papers & Briefings

Unboxing Artificial Intelligence: 10 steps to protect Human Rights (Council of Europe)

The impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on human rights is one of the most crucial factors that will define the period in which we live. AI-driven technology is entering more aspects of every individual’s life, from smart home appliances to social media applications, and it is increasingly being utilised by public authorities to evaluate people’s personality or skills, allocate resources, and otherwise make decisions that can have real and serious consequences for the human rights of individuals. As stressed by the Commissioner for Human Rights in a Human Rights Comment, finding the right balance between technological development and human rights protection is therefore an urgent matter. In accordance with the mandate of the Commissioner for Human Rights to promote the awareness of and effective observance and full enjoyment of human rights in Council of Europe member states as well as to provide advice and information on the protection of human rights (Articles 3 and 8 of Resolution (99) 50 of the Committee of Ministers), the Commissioner issues this 10-point Recommendation on AI and human rights.

There is currently no agreed definition of “Artificial Intelligence”. However, for the purposes of this Recommendation, AI is used as an umbrella term to refer generally to a set of sciences, theories and techniques dedicated to improving the ability of machines to do things requiring intelligence. An AI system is a machine-based system that makes recommendations, predictions or decisions for a given set of objectives. It does so by: (i) utilising machine and/or human-based inputs to perceive real and/or virtual environments; (ii) abstracting such perceptions into models manually or automatically; and (iii) deriving outcomes from these models, whether by human or automated means, in the form of recommendations, predictions or decisions.

Steering AI for Knowledge Societies: A ROAM Perspective (UNESCO)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly becoming the veiled decision-maker of our times. The diverse technical applica-tions loosely associated with this label drive more and more of our lives. They scan billions of web pages, digital trails and sensor-derived data within micro-seconds, using algorithms to prepare and produce significant decisions.AI and its constitutive elements of data, algorithms, hardware, connectivity and storage exponentially increase the power of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). This is a major opportunity for Sustainable Development, although risks also need to be addressed.It should be noted that the development of AI technology is part of the wider ecosystem of Internet and other advanced ICTs including big data, Internet of Things, blockchains, etc. To assess AI and other advanced ICTs’ benefits and challenges – particularly for communications and information – a useful approach is UNESCO’s Internet Universality ROAM principles. These principles urge that digital development be aligned with human Rights, Openness, Accessibility and Multi-stakeholder governance to guide the ensemble of values, norms, policies, regulations, codes and ethics that govern the development and use of AI.

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