The United Nations’ (UN) high commissioner on human rights Michelle Bachelet has called for an outright ban on AI applications that cannot be used in compliance with international human rights law.
She has stressed the urgent need for a moratorium on the sale and use of artificial intelligence (AI) systems that pose a serious risk to human rights until adequate safeguards are put in place.
“Artificial intelligence can be a force for good, helping societies overcome some of the great challenges of our times. But AI technologies can have negative, even catastrophic, effects if they are used without sufficient regard to how they affect people’s human rights,” Bachelet said.
The High Commissioner’s call came as her office, OHCHR, published a report that analyses how AI – including profiling, automated decision-making and other machine-learning technologies – affects people’s right to privacy and other rights, including the rights to health, education, freedom of movement, freedom of peaceful assembly and association, and freedom of expression.
“Artificial intelligence now reaches into almost every corner of our physical and mental lives and even emotional states. AI systems are used to determine who gets public services, decide who has a chance to be recruited for a job, and of course they affect what information people see and can share online,” the High Commissioner said.
According to the report, States and businesses alike have often rushed to incorporate AI applications, failing to carry out due diligence. There have already been numerous cases of people being treated unjustly because of AI, such as being denied social security benefits because of faulty AI tools or arrested because of flawed facial recognition, said the report.