IGF 2019 WS #124 Human Rights & Artificial Intelligence in World Perspective

Organizer 1: Vanessa Berning, Young NL IGF

Speaker 1: Auke Pals, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Nadia Tjahja, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Marjolijn Bonthuis, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Policy Question(s): 

What policy aspects are needed in view of Human Rights to use AI in an optimum way?

Relevance to Theme: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a promising technology that offers many opportunities to drive innovation, competitiveness, and productivity. Both at the national and international level, substantial investments are being made in this technology. However, how can AI be used in an optimum way when discussions about its cultural, social and political impact have not yet been completed, and the use of AI raises all kinds of questions? The session will contribute to the Data Governance track in finding policy aspects to ensure the development of human-centric AI governance framework at the global level.

Relevance to Internet Governance: Artificial Intelligence is a technology that is used by governments, business, and citizen. It is already deeply bounded in society. Moreover, AI has a huge impact on society, politics, and culture. It is important to govern AI in a multistakeholder process and to ensure that human rights are guaranteed.


Debate - Classroom - 60 Min

Description: China and America take the lead and invest several billion euros annually in AI. Similarly, the United Nations pays a lot of attention to a worldwide responsible AI Strategy and Europe is committed to a strategy based on a ‘human-centric’ approach. The Netherlands is also trying to differentiate itself through a sectoral approach and the formation of an AI research ecosystem. Furthermore, with the AINED initiative, the Netherlands has already taken the first steps that are now being built on. However, how can the opportunities offered by AI be used optimally worldwide to tackle social issues, if at the same time discussions about the cultural, social and political impact have not yet been completed and raise all kinds of questions? Is the answer at the national level in how governments and corporates guarantee social norms and values and human rights, both in terms of policy and in the application of AI? Do we need to think differently about fundamental rights such as “equal treatment” in the Digital Age? What do cultural or interpretation differences in terms such as ‘transparency’ and ‘interpretability’ mean when AI makes decisions about the legislation that applies to citizens, such as whether or not to grant benefits via an algorithm? Does the use of data lead to new forms of discrimination or may it exacerbate (unintended) cultural and social inequalities? In short, a whole range of diverse questions that we would like to discuss with the panel and audience.

Expected Outcomes: We want to get concrete aspects of policy elements that are needed for the development of an AI Governance framework.

Onsite Moderator: 

Auke Pals, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator: 

Marjolijn Bonthuis, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Wout De Natris, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Discussion Facilitation: 

Next, to the pitchers, we will involve the audience. We will prepare some concrete statements and distribute papers in the room with 'Yes' or 'No.' The audience can answer by holding up the paper with the answer to the stage. Furthermore, the moderator will involve the audience by giving room to ask questions.

Online Participation: 

Usage of IGF Tool


GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
GOAL 17: Partnerships for the Goals