Technology and Human Rights

Artificial intelligence, automation, and the gig economy can free us from drudgery, enrich our leisure, and build societies of shared prosperity. They have equal potential to create mass unemployment, hollow-out lives, and worsen inequality.

 

Putting human rights at the core of this new wave of technology in global markets will help define which road we choose. This new portal will be a digital platform for dialogue and action on this choice.

 

Phil Bloomer, Executive Director, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Technology can be a powerful tool for human rights. Increased access to the internet and the development of social media tools have enabled activists to organise and spread their message more quickly and to broader audiences. Emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, may significantly expand the availability and quality of data upon which to make informed decisions for the benefit of society. Supporters of these technologies believe that they will unleash new opportunities, increase efficiency, and help maximise human potential.

At the same time, rapid developments in artificial intelligence, automation and robotics raise serious questions about potential impacts on human rights and the future of work, as well as who will benefit and lose from their expansion. There is a risk that the use of machines to increase productivity will result in mounting inequality through downward pressure on wages and loss of jobs. The growth of the “gig economy”, facilitated by technology, has contributed to changing the nature of work by increasing the availability of flexible positions that provide opportunities for some while negatively affecting the livelihoods of others. In addition, the mass collection of data can lead to violations of the right to privacy and make it easier for governments to monitor the activities of activists.  

Many of these impacts are yet unknown. Human rights organisations are currently exploring how to ensure that these technological advances can benefit all people and do not exacerbate inequality for those who are already among the most marginalised.

Get RSS feed of these results

Related stories and components

Story
30 April 2019

Kenya: Suspected police death squad using Facebook to target & kill suspected gang members; Facebook deletes squad's page

A suspected police death squad operating inside Kenya's police force is using Facebook to target and kill young men they believe to be gang members, residents of a poor and overcrowded area of the capital have told a public meeting. Facebook pulled...

See full story

Article
29 April 2019

Shareholders to present slate of proposals at Amazon annual meeting focused on human rights & environmental issues

Author: Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

"Shareholders to present slate of proposals at Amazon annual meeting," 25 April 2019...

Read more

Article
26 April 2019

EU Commission pushes for ethical AI regulation

Author: Siddharth Venkataramakrishnan, Financial Times

'EU backs AI regulation while China and US favour technology', 25 April 2019...

Read more

Story
26 April 2019

EU develops guidelines for trustworthy Artifical Intelligence (AI)

See full story

Article
25 April 2019
+ Français - Hide

Author: ONU Info

« Michelle Bachelet juge nécessaire des mesures pour réguler les nouvelles technologies », 24 avril 2019...

Read more

Article
22 April 2019
+ Español - Hide

Author: Hipertextual

“Microsoft se negó a vender su tecnología de reconocimiento facial a la policía de California”, 17 de abril de 2019...

Read more

Article
15 April 2019

Commentary: Binding treaty discussions should include technology & human rights perspective

Author: Sebastian Smart, Global Partners Digital

"The case for and against a binding treaty on business and human rights", 2 April 2019...

Read more

Article
15 April 2019

Google will require temp workers receive $15 minimum wage & parental leave

Author: Alex Castro, The Verge

Google said... it would require its extended, non-employee workforce in the United States receive comprehensive health care coverage, a $15 minimum wage, and 12 weeks of parental leave. The move follows protests from employees and other workers......

Read more

Article
11 April 2019

Blockchain technology is being utilised to support responsible sourcing

Author: Jax Jacobson, Forbes

"Can blockchain apps ensure a responsible mineral supply chain?", 22 March, 2019...

Read more

Article
11 April 2019
+ Français - Hide

Author: Mohammed Hilal, Yubigeek (France)

« Intelligence artificielle : l’UE fixe 7 principes éthiques », 10 avril 2019 ...

Read more