Experts Discuss the Role of Human Rights in AI Governance

As artificial intelligence (AI) rapidly becomes more pervasive, norms and processes for its governance are being developed at pace. At present there is a proliferation of initiatives, with over 170 sets of principles on AI ethics, many countries considering regulation, and some international organisations adopting normative frameworks. Many of these initiatives make no or only passing reference to human rights.

At a roundtable organised by Chatham House and hosted by our Geneva Human Rights Platform, experts addressed the role of human rights in AI governance, how to ensure that the international human rights framework is properly integrated into new regulatory frameworks, as well as the role of human rights communities in these processes.

‘This is both a fascinating and challenging subject that really tests our capacity to ensure that new technologies – that evolve almost daily – do not undermine our human rights and are framed by relevant regulatory frameworks’ explains Felix Kirchmeier, Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.

‘This meeting – part of the Chatham House project on Human Rights Pathways that brings together academics, diplomats, civil society, corporate actors and representatives of international organizations – is key to meeting this challenge. In our upcoming report, we will reflect on the inputs from all those stakeholders’, says Chanu Peiris, Assistant Director of the International Law at The Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House).

Ensuring that Human Rights and Tech Discussions don’t Take Place in Separate Worlds

Experts notably addressed key questions like the appropriate role of human rights in AI governance, whether human rights help to streamline and concretise AI ethics and regulation, as well as whether human rights have sufficient scope to address the challenges of AI.

‘We had in-depth discussions on the processes that government and companies should follow in order to meet AI human rights standards, ranging from the prohibition of troubling forms of AI, to review mechanisms such as assurance, audit, and oversight, to the transparency of AI and remedies for harms’ explains Felix Kirchmeier.

Key issues in these processes are how human rights communities – at the international organisation, governmental, and civil society levels – can play an effective role in the development of AI governance, as well as how to ensure that the human rights discussions and tech discussions don’t take place in ‘separate but parallel’ worlds he adds.

A Larger Research at the Geneva Academy

This discussion echoes research conducted at the Geneva Academy – in partnership with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights B-Tech Project and the Geneva Science-Policy Interface – that facilitates a multistakeholder consultative process to identify knowledge gaps, generate new evidence and co-design evidence-based tools to support regulatory and policy responses to human rights challenges linked to digital technologies.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

The Geneva Academy team with their coach News

Our 2022 Mandela Moot Court Team

24 March 2022

Helmer Jonelid and Edward Millett – enrolled in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights – represent this year the Geneva Academy at the 14th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition.

Read more

Side event organized by the Geneva Human Rights Platform at the UN in New York News

From Geneva to New York to Discuss the Future of UN Treaty Bodies

10 June 2022

Our Geneva Human Rights Platform staff – Chloé Naret, Felix Kirchmeier and Domenico Zipoli – travelled to New York to discuss the future of UN treaty bodies.

Read more

Syria,  Aleppo, great Umayyad mosque. Destructions. Short Course

The Interplay between International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Spring 2023

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, focuses on the specific issues that arise in times of armed conflict regarding the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights. It addresses key issues like the applicability of human rights in times of armed conflict; the possibilities of restricting human rights under systems of limitations and derogations; and the extraterritorial application of human rights law.

Read more

An aerial view of camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs), which have appeared following latest attacks by M23 rebels and other armed groups in the North Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Short Course

International Refugee Law

Spring 2023

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, analyses the main international and regional norms governing the international protection of refugees. It notably examines the sources of international refugee law, including the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and their interaction with human rights law and international humanitarian law.

Read more

Project

Focused Reviews

Started in November 2021

Read more

Sign: National Human Rights Commission of Nepal Project

Local Implementation of Global Human Rights

Started in May 2020

The Geneva Human Rights Platform collaborates with a series of actors to reflect on the implementation of international human rights norms at the local level and propose solutions to improve uptake of recommendations and decisions taken by Geneva-based human rights bodies at the local level.

Read more

Cover of the publication Publication

Implementing the Treaty Body Review 2020 – Where do we stand

published on May 2022

Felix Kirchmeier, Chloé Naret, Domenico Zipoli

Read more