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Our new Working Paper The Relevance of the Smart Mix of Measures for Artificial Intelligence – Assessing the Role of Regulation and the Need for Stronger Policy Coherence discusses how current initiatives on the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies should incorporate the protection and respect for human rights.
Aimed at policy-makers, the technology sector and all those working on the regulation of AI, it notably focuses on the United Nations Principles on Business and Human Rights’ (UNGPs) call on states to adopt a ‘smart mix’ of mandatory and voluntary measures to support their implementation and how this applies to the AI sector.
Written by Dr Ana Beduschi – Senior Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy and Associate Professor of Law at the University of Exeter – and Dr Isabel Ebert – Adviser to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights B-Tech Project –, the Working Paper discusses the relevance of such a smart mix of measures to regulate AI technologies and calls for increased policy coherence in order to overcome siloed agendas and strengthen AI governance.
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While voluntary initiatives on AI ethics proliferated, many stakeholders have highlighted the need for stronger mandatory regulation of these technologies. As a result, some States and international organizations have started implementing regulatory and policy frameworks on AI.
For instance, China has developed policy guidelines for AI, the European Commission has proposed a new legislative proposal on AI regulation, and the Council of Europe established the Ad Hoc Committee on Artificial Intelligence working on a legislative proposal as well.
‘The sole adoption of mandatory regulation on AI may not suffice to foster a rights-respecting culture of conduct in the technology sector. Without robust regulatory bodies with sufficient capacity and resources to oversee the implementation of the measures and monitor compliance with the legal instruments, efforts to regulate AI may lack effectiveness’ explains Dr Ana Beduschi, Senior Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy.
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The Working Paper underlines that voluntary measures may also be crucial to adjust the smart mix of measures and encourage responsible behaviour in the AI technology sector.
For instance, the adoption of codes of conduct and benchmarking exercises may support different stakeholders in finding a common understanding of human rights application to the AI sector. Additionally, they can help identify appropriate practices and red lines concerning AI design and development. Voluntary measures can thus complement and feed into regulatory processes.
This publication forms part of our research project on disruptive technologies and rights-based resilience – funded by the Geneva Science-Policy Interface – that aims at supporting the development of regulatory and policy responses to human rights challenges linked to digital technologies.
European Action External Service
Sima Samar, former Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, will deliver the keynote speech at the 2021 Annual Conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.
To highlight the necessity of a human rights-based approach to regulatory efforts in the technology sector, we co-organized with the UN Human Rights B-Tech Project and the Centre for Democracy & Technology’s Europe Office a multi-stakeholder consultation attended by business, academia, civil society and state representatives.
This GHRP Friday will discuss the systemic approach of knowledge management and digitalized procedures in order to look carefully into which UN treaty bodies' activities can be moved online.
UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré
This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.
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.
Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy
NYU Stern BH
This project aims at supporting the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights' project for the 10th anniversary of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.