Q2/2020 - Council of Europe
Ad-hoc Committee on Artificial Intelligence, Strasbourg, 7 April 2020 (video conference)
The 2nd meeting of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Artificial Intelligence (CAHAI), which was scheduled for March, is now planned to be held as a virtual conference on 6 and 7 July 2020. The CAHAI, to which all 47 member states of the Council of Europe are members, was established in September 2019. Its mandate is to discuss which legal instruments should be drawn up by the Council of Europe to guarantee that human rights are appropriately taken into consideration during the further development of artificial intelligence. At its third (virtual) meeting at the CAHAI office on 27 March 2020, the Committee had readjusted its timetable. The CAHAI Bureau, which is chaired by Gregor Strojin, State Secretary in the Ministry of Justice of Slovenia, is dealing with the first draft of the feasibility study that had been agreed. The study includes a mapping of the ever more branched international discussions on artificial intelligence and an overview of the international documents and national strategies adopted until now. The study shall also investigate in greater detail the role of the private section in the development and introduction of artificial intelligence. Three theme-based working groups shall organise a broad-based multi-stakeholder discussion process.
Recommendation on Algorithms and Human Rights, 8 April 2020
On 8 April 8, 2020, the Council of Europe adopted a Recommendation on Algorithms and Human Rights (Recommendation CM/Rec(2020)1 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on the human rights impacts of algorithmic systems). The Recommendation imposes an obligation on the 47 members of the Council of Europe to ensure that human rights are sufficiently respected in the use, development and acquisition of algorithmic systems. States are obliged to establish effective legal, regulatory and control frameworks to prevent, detect, prohibit and remedy human rights violations, regardless whether they are attributable to public or private actors.
The Recommendation recognises the great potential of algorithmic methods in promoting innovation and economic development in many areas, including communications, education, transportation, administration and health care. In the context of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, algorithmic systems are used for prediction, diagnosis and research on vaccines and treatments. Electronic systems for enhanced motion monitoring are being discussed in a growing number of member states - they too rely on algorithms and automation.
At the same time, the Recommendation warns against considerable risks to human rights when algorithmic systems are used. Affected are in particular the right to a fair trial, the right to privacy and data protection, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of expression and assembly, the right to equal treatment, and economic and social rights.