Q1/2019 - Council of Europe
Conference "Governing the Game Changer – Impacts of artificial intelligence development on human rights, democracy and the rule of law"
On 26 and 27 February 2019, the Council of Europe held a high-level conference on artificial intelligence in Helsinki under the title “Governing the Game Changer – Impacts of artificial intelligence development on human rights, democracy and the rule of law”.
The conference was opened by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, Finland’s Foreign Minister, Timo Soini, und France’s Minister of Justice, Nicole Belloubet. The speakers included the Finish Minister of Justice, Antti Häkkänen, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Liliane Maury Pasquier, and the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović. The conference was attended by 300 experts from more than 50 countries.
The presentations and discussions were marked by the widespread uncertainty as to how modern society should react to the challenges of artificial intelligence, which still remain unclear. All parties involved agree that, on the one hand, artificial intelligence offers enormous potential for solving global and local problems of mankind, but that, on the other hand, it goes along with incalculable risks and that the use of artificial intelligence must therefore be subjected to the rule of law and ethical guidelines. The last link of each “chain of command” must be a human being who can be held responsible in the event of damage. The principle of equality in a democratic constitutional state must not be undermined by non-transparent algorithms. It is essential to create greater public awareness of the opportunities and risks of artificial intelligence. Democratically legitimised supervisory bodies, protective mechanisms to prevent the violation of human rights by AI and observatories must be established that can critically monitor future developments and function as early warning systems (monitoring).
The Council of Europe was requested to develop specific recommendations for individual sectors in an open and transparent multistakeholder process and to adopt a code of conduct. The conference conclusions list twelve guidelines that shall provide orientation to governments and non-state players for the development and application of AI.