16 September (WNN) — The UN human rights chief has called for a ban on the sale and use of artificial intelligence systems that threaten human rights.
In a statement on Wednesday, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, urged the banning of AI applications that cannot be used in compliance with human rights and the establishment of appropriate safeguards for moratoriums on other tools. can be done. .
“Artificial intelligence can be a force for good, helping society overcome some of the greatest challenges of our times. But AI technologies can have negative, even devastating effects if they are used. This is done without giving enough attention to how they affect the human rights of the people,” she said. .
The call was made after his office published a 17-page report on the widespread use of AI by governments and businesses, detailing how it can violate privacy rights.
AI relies on large data sets about the personal lives of individuals that are not only exposed to businesses and governments but are also at risk of data breaches.
The technology is also used to predict human behavior and can be used to create profiles in the hands of law enforcement, identify locations as potential sites of criminal or terrorist activity and “here Even individuals can be flagged as potential suspects and future criminals,” according to the report.
The increased use of biometric recognition, which identifies a person based on a digital representation of their physical characteristics, including face, fingerprint, iris, voice and gait, raises the possibility of one’s misidentification as a “serious concern under international human rights law”. Picks up too. person.
“In addition, facial recognition technology can be used to profile individuals based on their ethnicity, race, national origin, gender and other characteristics,” it said.
Remote biometric recognition, it continued, “dramatically enhances the ability of authorities to systematically identify and track people”, exercising rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association as well as freedom of movement. violates their ability.
The technology can also interfere with one’s access to public services, it said, adding that a major concern is that AI could be used to expose and penalize welfare beneficiaries and curtail their personal autonomy and choice. , as an example pointing to a court case in the Netherlands that banned a digital welfare fraud detection system as a violation of the right to privacy.
“The risk of discrimination associated with AI-powered decisions – decisions that can change, define or harm human lives – is all too real,” said Bachelet, author of Law to Reinstate Technology and called for regulation.
The call comes more than a month after it first urged action in July that Pegasus, a software developed by Israeli firm NSO Group, had spied on journalists, human rights defenders and politicians.
The Pegasus Project, in collaboration with more than 80 journalists from 17 media organizations, found that at least 180 journalists were targeted by the software.
NSO Group has denied the allegation.
“We can’t continue to play catch-up about AI — allowing its use with limited or no limits or oversight and dealing with almost inevitable human rights consequences after that fact,” Bachelet said Wednesday. “AI’s power to serve people is undeniable, but AI’s ability to feed human rights violations largely without any visibility.”
“For the betterment of all of us, action is now needed to put a human rights guardrail on the use of AI,” she said.