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Artificial intelligence: act now to prevent discrimination

Many uses of artificial intelligence (AI) can have a direct impact on equality of access to fundamental rights, including the right to private life and access to justice, employment, health and public services. Considering that such uses of AI may cause or exacerbate discrimination in these fields, effective human rights guarantees remain essential, including as regards the protection of personal data.

The Standing Committee stressed that legislators “must not hide behind the complexities of AI to prevent them from introducing regulations designed to protect and promote equality and non-discrimination in this field”. The human rights issues at stake “are clear and require action”.

Unanimously adopting a resolution and recommendation on the basis of the report prepared by Christophe Lacroix (Belgium, SOC) , the Standing Committee called on member States to draw up clear national legislation, standards and procedures to ensure that AI-based systems “comply with the rights to equality and non-discrimination wherever the enjoyment of these rights may be affected by the use of such systems”.

In order to ensure that the use of AI-based technologies by public authorities is subject to adequate parliamentary oversight and public scrutiny, national parliaments should make the use of such technologies a part of regular parliamentary debates, and ensure that an adequate structure for such debates exists. Governments should “notify the parliament before such technology is deployed”.

Member States should promote the inclusion of women, girls and minorities in STEM education paths, from the earliest ages and to the highest levels, and work together with industry to ensure that diversity and inclusion are fostered throughout career paths.