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Urgent Action Needed over AI Risks to Human Rights


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Tim Engelhardt, Human Rights Officer in the United Nations Rule of Law and Democracy Section, described the situation regarding the use of artificial intelligence in the context of human rights as "dire," adding that it not improved over the years, but has become worse."

Credit: Michael Dziedzic/Unsplash

States should place moratoriums on the sale and use of artificial intelligence (AI) systems until adequate safeguards are put in place, U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said.

Urgent action is needed as it can take time to assess and address the serious risks this technology poses to human rights, warned the High Commissioner: "The higher the risk for human rights, the stricter the legal requirements for the use of AI technology should be."

Bachelet also called for AI applications that cannot be used in compliance with international human rights law to be banned. "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." 

The U.N. rights chief expressed concern about the "unprecedented level of surveillance across the globe by state and private actors," which she insisted was "incompatible" with human rights.

From U.N. News
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