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Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Latest research and perspectives on the implications of AI for human rights

There is a possible future in which artificial intelligence drives inequality, inadvertently divides communities, and is even actively used to deny human rights. But there is an alternative future in which the ability of AI to propose solutions to increasingly complex problems is the source of great economic growth, shared prosperity, and the fulfilment of all human rights. This is not a spectator sport. Ultimately it will be the choices of businesses, governments, and individiauls which determines which path humanity takes.
Olly Buston, CEO, Future Advocacy

The field of artificial intelligence (AI) is evolving rapidly and is poised to grow significantly over the coming decade. Proponents believe that the continued development of AI will create new opportunities in health, education, and transportation, generate wealth and strengthen economies, and be used to solve pressing social issues. Ongoing initiatives exploring the application of machine learning include its use in investigating human rights abuses, improving energy efficiency, reducing pollution, and tackling food insecurity.

On the other hand, replacing human intelligence with machines could fundamentally change the nature of work, resulting in mass job losses and heightened income inequality. Algorithm-based decision-making by companies can also perpetuate human bias and result in discriminatory outcomes, as is already occurring. The significant expansion of data collected and analysed can also result in increasing the power of companies with ownership over this data and threaten the right to privacy. 

The rapid growth of AI also raises important questions about whether our current policies, legal systems, business due diligence practices, and rights protection methods are fit for purpose. This section features the latest research and various perspectives about the implications of AI for human rights.

Featured contents

Racial discrimination and emerging digital technologies: a human rights analysis

In June 2020, the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance released a report on racial discrimination in emerging digital technologies. Civil society groups subsequently released a joint statement in support of a number of the recommendations.

Toronto Declaration: Protecting the right to equality and non-discrimination in machine learning systems

The Toronto Declaration is a statement on protecting human rights in the age of artificial intelligence, led by Amnesty International and Access Now, and endorsed by many others in the global human rights community.

Artificial Intelligence and Sustainable Business

Seven Things Every Company Should Know about Artificial Intelligence and Sustainable Business, from BSR