IGF 2018 WS #182 Artificial Intelligence for Human Rights and SDGs

Format: 

Round Table - 90 Min

Organizer 1: Bhanu Neupane, UNESCO

Speaker 1: Fei-Fei Li, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Nanjira Sambuli, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 3: David Kaye, Intergovernmental Organization, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Ramy Raoof, Technical Community, African Group
Speaker 5: Mitja Jermol, Civil Society, Eastern European Group

Additional Speakers: 

Final speakers

  • Mr. Marko Grobelnik, Co-Chair, Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Jožef Stefan Institute (Slovenia)
  • Ms. Nnenna Nwakanma, Interim Policy Director at the World Wide Web Foundation (Nigeria and USA)
  • Ms. Silvia Grundmann, Head of Media and Internet Division and Secretary to CDMSI, Council of Europe
  • Mr. Thomas Hughes, Executive Director at ARTICLE 19 (UK)
  • Ms. Liudmyla Romanoff, Data Privacy and Data Protection Legal Specialist, UN Global Pulse (USA) (Remote)
  • H. E. Mr Federico Salas Lotfe, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Delegate of Mexico to UNESCO (México)
  • Ms. Elodie Vialle, Head of Journalism & Technology Desk at Reporters Without Borders (France)
Relevance: 

The session will primarily discuss why a multi-stakeholder, inclusive and open mechanism is needed to address some key issues surrounding Artificial Intelligence.

The development and application of Artificial Intelligence technologies will profoundly shape humanity’s access to information and knowledge, impact communication and the practice of journalism. AI also has great potential to foster open and inclusive knowledge societies and promote openness in education and scientific processes, digital persistence, and cultural diversity. In turn, these can all contribute to achieve democracy, peace and the sustainable development goals.

In contrast, AI could also exacerbate inequalities and increase digital divide. AI and automated processes as fueled by big data can also for human rights, particularly to freedom of information, freedom of expression and the right to privacy. The use of AI in content moderation on the Internet without human judgement or due process can have a negative impact on the right to impart, seek and receive information, as well as on accountability, transparency and a shared public sphere. Issues of gender and racial discrimination are also being embedded into AI systems, with adverse effects. These ethical issues accompany questions about the technical divide that already exists between developed and developing countries.

UNESCO therefore sees an urgent need to take a global, pluralistic, multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder (e.g. public and private sectors, developed and developing countries, etc.) reflection on the ethical standards and policies that will guide the development of AI technologies. The session is proposed to explore these issues and reflect on how to harness AI technologies as processes to advance human rights, build inclusive knowledge societies and achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

UNESCO’s new publication “What if we all governed the Internet: Advancing multi-stakeholder participation in Internet governance” serves a useful reference on how to enhance an open, inclusive multi stakeholder process in formulating AI-related policies and norms at national and international levels.

Session Content: 

As a rapidly advancing technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is getting more and more attention due to a series of successful applications ranging from its contribution to create intelligent environments, intelligent networks, smart cities, autonomous systems, humanoid robotics and self-aware and cognitive systems.

Although AI are a set of algorithms, the impact and potential consequences are seen to be crucial for humanity. Aggressive deployment of AI are raising concerns across the globe. Most alarming is the fact that the current societal mechanisms including moral and legal frameworks are not capable to effectively follow such a rapid development. These issues have opened a larger debate around AI, as we are at the threshold of an era when much of our productivity and prosperity will be derived from the systems and machines that we create. We are accustomed now to technology developing fast, but that pace will increase and AI will drive much of that acceleration. The impacts on society and the economy, especially its contributions to achieve SDGs, will be profound, although the exact nature of those impacts is still uncertain.

Research and innovation, investments and business dynamics in AI, especially its contributions to achieve SDGs, are increasingly being influenced by the interactions among many stakeholders ("multiple helix" approach). Many actors are involved in the AI knowledge creation and the innovation processes. Multilateral organizations must collaborate with universities and research institutions, business enterprises, hospitals, local municipalities, public services and citizen organizations. Such interactions must also consider the dynamism in innovation and business processes, which have started to gradually transition with the introduction of open science, open innovation and open education and rapid increase of funding in AI. The focus is increasingly on developing, testing and rolling out solutions to societal challenges for the benefit of citizens and local jobs. This shows the way for new hot-spots of AI knowledge production and co-creation globally.

Therefore, there is a need for creating a robust and mechanism, specifically focused on Artificial Intelligence and all aspects surrounding this ubiquitous technological phenomenon. Such mechanism thus must undertake collaborative research via global network of research institutions; create mechanisms for education and capacity building via global AI learning programmes; create independent open space for AI as Social Good, undertake interdisciplinary studies, develop replicable policy, legal, ethical and financial mechanisms.

Interventions: 

1. What collaborative research is needed to foster a global network of AI research ?

2. What are AI Education and Capacity building needed to advance south-south and north-south co-learning and co-development of AI ?

3. What is the next approach to create Open Space for AI for SDGs?

4. What opportunities and challenges AI have raised to advance human Rights, democracy and strengthen journalism and media?

5. How can we reflect on and formulate a human-centered and ethical framework that will guide the development of AI technologies to tackle the digital divide, gender divide, inequality and discriminations and contribute to building inclusive knowledge societies and sustainable development?

6. What are the key interdisciplinary studies that can produce guidelines, standards, and recommendations?

7. What does AI imply for global Internet governance and what efforts should be made by stakeholders in order to enhance an open and inclusive process on formulating AI policy and norms?

Online Participation: 

This session will allow dynamic online participation using state of the art online discussion platform. The session will include AI experts from different parts of the world.

UNESCO will moderate and facilitate online remote participation and moderated discussions.

Discussion Facilitation: 

UNESCO will moderate and facilitate the discussions - both off- and online - and will make sure to give the floor to the audience to ensure a dynamic round table.

Onsite Moderator: 

Indrajit Banerjee and Guy Berger, UNESCO

Online Moderator: 

Bhanu Neupane, UNESCO

Rapporteur: 

Xianhong Hu, UNESCO

Report: 

Session Type: Workshop/ Round-table

Title: Artificial Intelligence for Human Rights and SDGs

Date & Time: Wednesday, 14 November, 2018 - 11:20 to 12:50

Organizer(s): UNESCO

Chair/Moderator: Mr. Guy Berger and Mr. Indrajit Banerjee, UNESCO

Rapporteur/Notetaker: Ms Xianhong Hu and Ms Macarena Rivera Lam, UNESCO

List of speakers and their institutional affiliations:

  • Mr. Marko Grobelnik, Co-Chair, Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Jožef Stefan Institute (Slovenia)
  • Ms. Nnenna Nwakanma, Interim Policy Director at the World Wide Web Foundation (Nigeria)
  • Ms. Silvia Grundmann, Head of Media and Internet Division and Secretary to CDMSI, Council of Europe
  • Mr. Thomas Hughes, Executive Director at ARTICLE 19 (UK)
  • Ms. Liudmyla Romanoff, Data Privacy and Data Protection Legal Specialist, UN Global Pulse (USA) (Remote)
  • H. E. Mr Federico Salas Lotfe, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Delegate of Mexico to UNESCO (México)
  • Ms. Elodie Vialle, Head of Journalism & Technology Desk at Reporters Without Borders (France)

Theme: Emerging Technologies

Subtheme: Artificial Intelligence

Key messages of the discussion

Fostering global, multi-stakeholder, open and inclusive mechanisms to address the key issues surrounding AI, particularly the development of AI technologies and in the formulation of global AI policy, human rights and ethical standards and norms

Creating opportunities for collaboration on the research, learning and development of AI technologies

Harnessing the development of AI technologies in a way that:

  • It contributes to the achievement of democracy, peace and the Sustainable Development Goals
  • It avoids exacerbating existing inequalities and increasing the technical and digital divide

The discussion

Speakers agreed on the fact that AI has great potential to foster open and inclusive societies; to promote openness in education and scientific processes, digital inclusion, and cultural diversity; to contribute to the strengthening of democracy, peace and help achieve SDGs; while pointing out that AI technology could also exacerbate inequalities and increase the digital divide.

The group also discussed the importance of the ROAM principles to encompass the development of AI and other new technologies. In particular, speakers underlined the issue of access and data openness and protection as a few of the main challenges in the development of AI policy.

A panelist raised the importance of using AI for the best of humanity and to challenge the worst in humanity.

Panelists insisted on the importance of data (and of data governance) in the context of the development of AI technologies, as the “blood” feeding intelligence to AI systems.

Policy recommendations or suggestions regarding the way forward

The group discussed the importance of developing regulation strategies and initiatives on AI at the very outset (now), in order to maximize benefits and minimize risks.

Speakers underlined the importance of strengthening and promoting alliances among stakeholders, including governments, civil society and the private sector.

The group also pointed out UNESCO as the better-placed institution for putting the development of AI and new technologies in the rights framework.

A speaker addressed the importance of fostering investment in AI infrastructure (for quality data, better Internet connectivity, and data protection).

The panelists mentioned the importance of formulating a human-centered ethical framework to guide the development of AI technologies.

Ideas with respect to how the IGF ecosystem might make progress

A participant suggested promoting the delayed deployment of AI technology, to better address AI policy at the outset.

The importance of the availability of free, accessible and open data, as well as the need to work towards data integrity and the protection of privacy.

A speaker underlined the importance of putting human rights and SDGs into the focus of AI-related discussion.

Estimate number of participants: 200

Estimate percentage of women present: 50%. The panel itself was gender balanced.

Gender issues

The session did not directly address related to gender. However, several speakers brought a number of gender issues to the table, inasmuch as they were related to the context of the discussion.

For instance, a speaker mentioned that gender-based discrimination and inequality offline come online, in the form of physical or oral shutdowns, etc., and that one thing to keep in mind is the fact that AI technologies to which women have access are usually developed by middle-aged, White men.

Session Time: 
Wednesday, 14 November, 2018 - 11:20 to 12:50
Room: 
Salle IV

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 678