RSF urges countries adopting CoE’s AI Framework to avoid self-regulation

The self-regulation permitted by this framework convention will not ensure that AI serves the general interest and protects the right to information.

Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has praised the Council of Europe’s (CoE) new Framework Convention on AI for its progress but criticised its reliance on private sector self-regulation. The Convention, which includes 46 European countries, aims to address the impact of AI on human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. While it acknowledges the threat of AI-fueled disinformation, RSF argues that it fails to provide the necessary mechanisms to achieve its goals.

The CoE Convention mandates strict regulatory measures for AI use in the public sector but allows member states to choose self-regulation for the private sector. RSF believes this distinction is a critical flaw, as the private sector, particularly social media companies and other digital service providers, have historically prioritised business interests over the public good. According to RSF, this approach will not effectively combat the disinformation challenges posed by AI.

RSF urges countries that adopt the Convention to implement robust national legislation to strictly regulate AI development and use. That would ensure that AI technologies are deployed ethically and responsibly, protecting the integrity of information and democratic processes. Vincent Berthier, Head of RSF’s Tech Desk, emphasised the need for legal requirements over self-regulation to ensure AI serves the public interest and upholds the right to reliable information.

RSF’s recommendations provide a framework for AI regulation that addresses the shortcomings of both the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention and the European Union’s AI Act, advocating for stringent measures to safeguard the integrity of information and democracy.