Published: 7 November 2023 at 14:08
In a rapidly evolving world, the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI), human rights, and regulation has never been more critical.
A recent event, organized by B-TECH and the Global Network Initiative (GNI), featured Dr Sebastian Smart, CAJI (Centre for Access to Justice & Inclusion) Research Fellow in Access to Justice, Inclusion, & Technology. Dr. Smart's presentation and the ensuing discussions shed light on the complex dynamics at play, particularly in the context of Latin America, where regulatory frameworks are rapidly evolving.
Panel 1: Mapping AI Regulations and Human Rights
Dr. Smart unveiled a forthcoming report that meticulously maps the regulatory landscape in Latin America. This comprehensive analysis, set to be published by the end of the year, delves into AI regulations across nine countries in the region. The panel was followed by a discussion of current European regulatory frameworks, including the EU AI Act and the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD).
Key Highlights from Panel 1:
Panel 2: Policy Coherence for AI Regulation
The second panel focused on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and policy coherence in AI regulation. Key takeaways included:
Panel 3: Risk Assessment Methodologies for AI
The third panel tackled risk assessment methodologies for AI, with a focus on generative AI and the importance of human rights-based assessments. Key insights included:
Launch of Freedom House Freedom on the Net Report
Dr. Smart also attended the launch of the Freedom House Freedom on the Net Report, which highlighted the repressive potential of AI. Key findings included the increasing sophistication and accessibility of AI-based tools for manipulating text, audio, and imagery.
The report underscored that while AI has not replaced older methods of information control, it is a powerful tool for governments to stifle free expression. The ensuing discussion emphasized the need to focus on real, current risks rather than existential ones.
An important emphasis during the discussion was put on the African context, where the discussions have transited from digital infrastructure and seen technology as an enabler for participation and connection to a vision of technology as a double-edged sword. This is particularly evident in repressive regimes that use technology and AI to target opponents with sophisticated tools.
The events offered valuable insights into the dynamic relationship between AI, human rights, and regulation. They underscored the importance of ensuring that AI regulation is rooted in human rights principles and that it keeps pace with evolving technology. As AI continues to shape our world, a focus on protecting human rights and addressing real-world issues is paramount. The future of AI, human rights, and regulation will undoubtedly be a complex yet vital journey for all stakeholders.