Freedom Online Coalition issues statement on AI and human rights

The Freedom Online Coalition – a group of 32 countries committed to the protection of human rights online – has issued a statement on artificial intelligence (AI) and human rights, expressing concerns over the ‘use of AI systems towards repressive and authoritarian purposes, including through facial recognition technology and automated content moderation, which can enable and scale human rights violations and abuses’. The coalition calls on states to: (a) Take action to oppose and refrain from the use of AI systems for repressive and authoritarian purposes; (b) Refrain from arbitrary or unlawful interference in the operations of online platforms, including those using AI systems; (c) Promote international multistakeholder engagement in the development of relevant norms, rules, and standards for the development, procurement, use, certification, and governance of AI systems that, at a minimum, are consistent with international human rights law; (d) Ensure the design, development, and use of AI systems in the public sector is conducted in accordance with their international human rights obligations; (e) Protect human rights when procuring, developing, and using AI systems in the public sector; (f) Encourage the private sector to observe principles and practices of responsible business conduct in the use of AI systems; (g) Consider how domestic legislation, regulation, and policies can identify, prevent, and mitigate risks to human rights posed by the design, development, and use of AI systems, and take action where appropriate; (h) Promote, and where appropriate, support efforts by the private sector, civil society, and all other relevant stakeholders to increase transparency and accountability related to the use of AI systems; (i) Work toward increasing transparency; (j) Foster education about AI systems and possible impacts on human rights among the public and stakeholders, including product developers and policymakers.