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Europe’s AI convention

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May 27, 2024

Why in news?

Recently Council of Europe has adopted 1st international treaty on artificial intelligence.

What are the key provisions of framework convention?

  • Protocols- Framework convention is a type of legally binding treaty that establishes broad commitments and objectives, while leaving the setting of specific targets to subsequent agreements.
  • Need-This approach allows for flexibility and adaptability, enabling parties to meet the objectives in ways that suit their capacities and priorities.
  • Foundational document- The Framework Convention on AI serves as a foundational document, from which more detailed and specific protocols can be developed in the future.
  • Aim- To ensure that AI system’s lifecycle activities are consistent with human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
  • Scope- The convention includes activities by both public authorities and private actors, especially those acting on behalf of public authorities.
  • Compliance options- It offers 2 compliance options for parties when regulating the private sector.
  • Direct obligation by the convention’s provisions or
  • Alternative measures that respect human rights, democracy and the rule of law reflecting the diversity of global legal systems.
  • Flexibility- Parties are encouraged to go beyond the commitments and obligations specified in the convention, indicating a willingness to adapt and strengthen AI governance measures over time.
  • Human rights protection- It ensures AI systems do not infringe on existing human rights.
  • Democratic integrity- It protects the integrity of democratic processes against potential AI misuse.
  • Risk assessment- The parties must assess risks associated with AI and implement measures to mitigate them.
  • Transparency- It is tailored to specific contexts and risks, including identifying AI-generated content.
  • Legal remedies- There are legal remedies for victims of human right violations related to AI and procedural safeguards including notifications about interactions with AI system.
  • Exemptions- The convention offers broad exemptions concerning national security interests, research, development and testing, and national defense.

What lies ahead?

  • The implementation of AI convention will face challenges, especially as AI regulation regime are still evolving.
  • Despite this, the convention seeks to harmonize AI development with human rights, acknowledging the need for responsible AI deployment.

 

Quick facts

Council of Europe

  • Year- 1949
  • Aim- To promote human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe.
  • About- It is distinct from the European Union, though the two organizations work closely together and share some member states.
  • Member states- 46 member states, which include almost all European countries.
  • This membership extends beyond the EU and includes countries like Russia (though it was expelled in 2022), Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
  • Observer States- It also includes observer states such as the Holy See, Japan, the United States, and Canada.
  • Human rights- The COE is best known for its work in promoting and protecting human rights. It created the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in 1950, which is enforced by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).
  • Democracy- It promotes democratic governance and political processes across its member states.
  • Rule of law- It works to ensure that the rule of law is upheld in its member states, providing guidelines and support to strengthen judicial systems and legal frameworks.

 

References

  1. The Hindu- Explained Europe’s AI convention
  1. Council of Europe- International treaty on AI
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