UN Calls for Moratorium on Harmful AI, Establishment of Data Protection Legislation and AI Regulation

September 15, 2021

In a report published today, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called on governments to “ban AI applications that cannot be operated in compliance with international human rights law and impose moratoriums on the sale and use of AI systems that carry a high risk for the enjoyment of human rights, unless and until adequate safeguards to protect human rights are in place.” The report also stresses the need for comprehensive data protection legislation in addition to a regulatory approach to AI that prioritizes protection of human rights. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet explained: “The risk of discrimination linked to AI-driven decisions – decisions that can change, define or damage human lives – is all too real. This is why there needs to be systematic assessment and monitoring of the effects of AI systems to identify and mitigate human rights risks.” EPIC has long advocated for comprehensive data protection legislation, moratoriums on particularly dangerous tools and commonsense AI regulation to protect the public.

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