Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers adopts declaration on AI-enabled social services decision-making

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has adopted a declaration drawing attention to the possible risks to human rights that might follow from the use of computer-assisted or artificial intelligence-enabled (AI-enabled) decision-making by public authorities in the area of social services. The declaration highlights the need to ensure that computer-assisted or AI-enabled decision-making systems are developed and implemented while respecting the principles of legal certainty, legality, data quality, non-discrimination, and transparency. Moreover, human oversight needs to be ensured in order to mitigate and/or avoid errors in the management, attribution or revocation of entitlements, assistance, and related benefits which could amplify disadvantages. Effective arrangements also need to be put in place to protect vulnerable people from serious or irreparable harm (e.g. extreme poverty or homelessness). Those affected by computer-assisted or AI-enabled decisions in the area of social services need to be able to effectively assert their rights and seek remedies.