ARTICLE 19 joins Partnership on AI to benefit people and society

Recent advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) offer exciting prospects for societies, yet they also bring concerns about how these new technological capabilities will affect people’s lives. Current momentum in this field is enabled by the availability of large amounts of data, computational power that is both affordable and widely accessible, the continued development of statistical methods and the mainstream adaptation of technology.

ARTICLE 19 calls for the need to critically evaluate AI and automated decision making systems (AS) for their impact on human rights. We need to understand the various ways in which these technologies embed values and bias, thereby strengthening or sometimes hindering the exercise of these rights, particularly freedom of expression. The role of industry, governments, and individual developers must be grounded, at the very minimum, in existing standards of corporate responsibility and international standards on human rights.

Since 2014, ARTICLE 19 has pioneered efforts in technical communities to bridge existing knowledge gaps on human rights and their relevance to internet infrastructure. Our efforts have been geared towards integrating human rights into foundational documents at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). At the IEEE specifically, ARTICLE 19 has taken an active part in the Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems.  In December 2016, we also published a policy brief on algorithms and automated decision-making in the context of crime prevention.

As part of our ongoing work monitoring AI and its impacts on human rights, ARTICLE 19 has joined The Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (PAI). The Partnership on Artificial Intelligence brings together 26 partners including researchers, academics, businesses, and policy makers to jointly engage and collaborate on the big issues – and opportunities – brought about by advances in AI and machine learning.

The partnership aims to be a forum for open and constructive dialogue around the potential for new technologies to tackling societal challenges and the risks they may incur on people’s lives including livelihoods, security and human rights, to name a few.

The Partnership is focused on:

  1. Developing and sharing best practices for AI;
  2. Advancing public understanding of AI;
  3. Providing an open and inclusive platform for discussion and engagement;
  4. Identifying and fostering aspirational efforts in AI for socially beneficial purposes.

ARTICLE 19 looks forward to engaging with the partnership, particularly on the importance of a human rights based approach to AI governance and development.