Warning over 'blind adoption' of AI and rights impact


At the start of 2020, 42% of companies used AI-dependent technologies, said a report, citing recent research. – monsitj/Istock.com/AFP

VIENNA: People need stronger protection from the effects of artificial intelligence, the European Union's rights agency argued in a report Dec 14, as one expert warned against the "blind adoption" of such technology.

Much of the attention on developments in AI "focuses on its potential to support economic growth", said the report, by the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA). But it added: "How different technologies can affect fundamental rights has received less attention."

There is a risk "people are blindly adopting new technologies without assessing their impact before actually using them", David Reichel, one of the experts who worked on the report, told AFP.

"There are many people who think that when you don't have any data linked to gender or ethnic origin in your data set then you're fine and that is not discriminating," Reichel added.

On the contrary, he argued, caution was needed as "there is a lot of information that can be linked to protected attributes".

In August, for example, London's Appeal Court found that the use of facial recognition by police in Cardiff was unlawful, in part because not enough had been done to ensure the technology was not prone to bias.

"Technology moves quicker than the law," FRA director Michael O'Flaherty said in the report.

"We need to seize the chance now to ensure that the future EU regulatory framework for AI is firmly grounded in respect for human and fundamental rights."

More research funding was needed into the "potentially discriminatory effects of AI", the agency added.

"Any future AI legislation has to consider" possible discriminatory effects and impediments to justice "and create effective safeguards", the agency said in a statement accompanying the report.

The issue was all the more pressing given that the "Covid-19 pandemic has potentially quickened acceptance of innovative technologies", particularly in improving healthcare and helping track the spread of disease, the report noted.

Already at the start of 2020, 42% of companies used AI-dependent technologies, said the report, citing recent research.

Organisations using such technology needed to be more transparent and more accountable, said the report.

"People need to know when AI is used and how it is used, as well as how and where to complain," it added. – AFP Relaxnews

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 0
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!
   

Next In Tech News

STMicro leans on AI, cloud as chip designs become more complex
Canada's Hut 8 Mining to merge with US Bitcoin to weather crypto downturn
U.S. judge orders fresh review for Thacker Pass lithium project
Meta fails to stop work conditions case in Kenya
Musk’s Twitter expected to face the strictest EU content rules
Microsoft investigates Outlook outage as users face issues
Apple’s latest iPhones sell at US$100-plus discounts in China
Nintendo promises 10% pay hike even as it trims profit outlook
DCG sells shares in Grayscale as it seeks to raise funds - FT
Cryptoverse: Is bitcoin out of the woods? Consider the options

Others Also Read