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The UN’s High Commissioner For Human Rights Joins The Fight To Regulate AI

Sun Sep 19 2021

Michelle Bachelet has called for a ban on all AI that’s currently non-compliant with human rights laws

The UN’s High commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has just called for a moratorium on the use of all AI systems that could or do imperil human rights.

She’s said that the sale of AI software, including facial recognition used to track people in public areas, needs to be delayed until adequate safety measures can be considered and implemented to prevent violations of human rights law.

She’s also demanded an outright ban on any AI technology that can't be used in compliance with international human rights law.

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While AI systems can help societies overcome some of the great challenges of our times they can also have negative effects if used without sufficient regard to how they affect people's human rights. Given the rapid and continuous growth of AI, filling the immense accountability gap in how data is collected, stored, shared and used is one of the most urgent human rights questions we face.

Michelle Bachelet - UN’s High Commissioner For Human Rights

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Bachelet’s comments came alongside a new UN report from the Human Rights Office which has been examining the impact AI is having on peoples lives.

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The complexity of the data environment, algorithms and models underlying the development and operation of AI systems, as well as intentional secrecy of government and private actors are factors undermining meaningful ways for the public to understand the effects of AI systems on human rights and society.

Report from the UN Human Rights Office

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The UN has also expressed concern over how both certain governments and large, private organisations were using AI apps without first studying the risks the technology could bring.

Bachelet has warned that data collated by AI systems can be compromised, out of date or just downright discriminatory, all of which could affect an individual’s right education, health, freedom of expression, freedom of movement and freedom of peaceful assembly.

 

Whilst the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stopped short of calling for an all-out ban on facial recognition software, she did point out that Governments needed to stop scanning their citizens features in real time until there is more proof the technology is accurate.

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Sun Sep 19 2021

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