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IGF 2019 Pre-Event #31 AI and discrimination – whose problem is it?

Council of Europe


AI can have discriminatory effects when based on biased prior human decisions. In the public and private sector, AI-enabled decisions are made in many key areas of life – recruitment, admission to universities, credit, insurance, eligibility for pension payments, housing assistance, or unemployment benefits, predictive policing, judicial decisions and many more. Non-discrimination law and data protection law, if effectively enforced could address AI-driven discrimination. However, there is a deficit of awareness among the law enforcement and monitoring bodies and the general public. The community of industry, public authorities and civil society should address this issue in the context of the Internet governance debate.
The event will present the challenges and risks around the implementation of AI algorithms, the pros and cons of transparency and the ways to manage it in an optimal way, how to guarantee explicability - so users will understand how the algorithm works, how to secure the transparent process of its creation to make sure that it would not discriminate etc. It will also look into the role of Equality bodies and how to enhance it.

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

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

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 411