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Our new Working Paper The Relevance of the Smart Mix of Measures for Artificial Intelligence – Assessing the Role of Regulation and the Need for Stronger Policy Coherence discusses how current initiatives on the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies should incorporate the protection and respect for human rights.
Aimed at policy-makers, the technology sector and all those working on the regulation of AI, it notably focuses on the United Nations Principles on Business and Human Rights’ (UNGPs) call on states to adopt a ‘smart mix’ of mandatory and voluntary measures to support their implementation and how this applies to the AI sector.
Written by Dr Ana Beduschi – Senior Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy and Associate Professor of Law at the University of Exeter – and Dr Isabel Ebert – Adviser to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights B-Tech Project –, the Working Paper discusses the relevance of such a smart mix of measures to regulate AI technologies and calls for increased policy coherence in order to overcome siloed agendas and strengthen AI governance.
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While voluntary initiatives on AI ethics proliferated, many stakeholders have highlighted the need for stronger mandatory regulation of these technologies. As a result, some States and international organizations have started implementing regulatory and policy frameworks on AI.
For instance, China has developed policy guidelines for AI, the European Commission has proposed a new legislative proposal on AI regulation, and the Council of Europe established the Ad Hoc Committee on Artificial Intelligence working on a legislative proposal as well.
‘The sole adoption of mandatory regulation on AI may not suffice to foster a rights-respecting culture of conduct in the technology sector. Without robust regulatory bodies with sufficient capacity and resources to oversee the implementation of the measures and monitor compliance with the legal instruments, efforts to regulate AI may lack effectiveness’ explains Dr Ana Beduschi, Senior Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy.
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The Working Paper underlines that voluntary measures may also be crucial to adjust the smart mix of measures and encourage responsible behaviour in the AI technology sector.
For instance, the adoption of codes of conduct and benchmarking exercises may support different stakeholders in finding a common understanding of human rights application to the AI sector. Additionally, they can help identify appropriate practices and red lines concerning AI design and development. Voluntary measures can thus complement and feed into regulatory processes.
This publication forms part of our research project on disruptive technologies and rights-based resilience – funded by the Geneva Science-Policy Interface – that aims at supporting the development of regulatory and policy responses to human rights challenges linked to digital technologies.
The 88 students enrolled in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law started their respective programmes last week.
In an article published in The Journal of Peasant Studies, our Senior Research Fellow Dr Joanna Bourke Martignoni discusses – on the basis of research carried out at the Geneva Academy – the extent to which a feminist approach makes a difference to the realization of the rights to food, land, decent work, and social security.
In this online event co-organized with the ATLAS Network, prominent women in international law will share their experience and advice through an interactive discussion.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, focuses on the specific issues that arise in times of armed conflict regarding the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights. It addresses key issues like the applicability of human rights in times of armed conflict; the possibilities of restricting human rights under systems of limitations and derogations; and the extraterritorial application of human rights law.
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This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.
This research aims at taking stock of and contributing to a better understanding of the above-mentioned challenges to the principle of universality of human rights while also questioning their validity. It will identify relevant political and legal arguments and develop counter-narratives that could be instrumental to dealing with and/or overcoming the polarization of negotiations processes at the multilateral level.
We are a partner of the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project, housed at the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre, which aims to map and analyse the human rights challenges and opportunities presented by the use of big data and associated technologies. It notably examines whether fundamental human rights concepts and approaches need to be updated and adapted to meet the new realities of the digital age.