UN High Commissioner for Human Rights calls for moratorium on AI systems carrying high risks for human rights

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has issued a report on the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the right to privacy and other human rights. The report highlights particular concerns about the use of AI systems (including profiling, automated-decision making, and machine-learning technologies) in law enforcement, national security, criminal justice, and border management, as well as in the context of public services, and employment-related activities. The report then includes a series of recommendations for both states and the private sector. Governments are invited to ensure the protection and reinforcement of all human rights in the development, use and governance of AI. Moreover, they are called upon to ban AI applications that cannot be operated in compliance with international human rights law, and to impose moratoriums on the sale and use of AI systems that carry a high risk for the enjoyment of human rights, unless and until adequate safeguards to protect human rights are in place. The High Commissioner is also calling for a moratorium on the use of remote biometric recognition technologies in public spaces, at least until the authorities responsible can demonstrate compliance with privacy and data protection standards and the absence of significant accuracy issues and discriminatory impacts. A key recommendation for states and companies is to conduct regular human rights impact assessments throughout the life cycle of the AI systems they design, develop, deploy, sell, obtain, or operate. Other recommendations are related to increasing transparency regarding the use of AI, advancing the explainability of AI-based decisions, and enhancing efforts to combat dscriminatuon linked to the development or use of AI systems.