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Access Now report identifies human rights risks posed by AI & recommends companies conduct human rights due diligence & provide transparency

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15 November 2018

Human rights in the age of artificial intelligence

Author: Lindsey Anderson, Access Now

This report is a preliminary scoping of the intersection of artificial intelligence and human rights... The use of international human rights law and its well-developed standards and institutions to examine artificial intelligence systems can... provide a universal vocabulary and forums established to address power differentials... [and] a framework for solutions... Our recommendations fall within four general categories: data protection rules to protect rights in the data sets used to develop and feed artificial intelligence systems; special safeguards for government uses of artificial intelligence; safeguards for private sector uses of artificial intelligence systems; and investment in more research to continue to examine the future of artificial intelligence and its potential interferences with human rights.

...The role of AI in facilitating discrimination is well documented... The growing use of AI in the criminal justice system risks interfering with rights to be free from interferences with personal liberty... AI-enabled censorship can be used to restrict the freedom of association by removing groups, pages, and content that facilitate organization of in-person gatherings and collaboration... AI-powered surveillance software can also be used with the express purpose of discrimination, allowing governments to identify, target, and deny services to people from different groups... The role of AI in creating and spreading disinformation challenges the notion of fair elections and creates a threat to the right to political participation and self determination... The role of AI in the automation of jobs could poses a real threat to the right to work; it may prevent some people from accessing the labor market in the first place.

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8 November 2018

New report recommends AI-specific human rights framework

Author: Marie Boran, The Irish Times

Access Now has published a report assessing existing pan-European strategies for AI development and regulation with several recommendations including a strategy of transparency: “Public bodies should engage the public in these decisions [ on AI ] to the fullest possible extent.”... The report also noted that “surprisingly little” work has been done by European governments to apply existing anti-discrimination law to AI systems, which is needed in light of algorithmic bias such as job advertisements on Facebook aimed at men rather than women and criminal justice software calculating re-offending rates based on ethnic background.

Access Now also said an area of concern is “strategies which, via paying a nod to ‘ethics’, mainly express willingness to loosen the regulatory environment. Authorities should be vigilant that ethics do not become a smokescreen for an unregulated technical environment.”

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