UN Warns Against Human Rights When Using Artificial Intelligence

Human rights must be safeguarded when using artificial intelligence (AI), said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet. She calls the use and dangers of AI a ‘growing problem’.


Artificial intelligence has expanded to almost every corner of our physical and mental lives and even our emotions. For example, AI systems are used to determine who gets a job or who gets certain care. However, AI can have negative and even catastrophic consequences if used without sufficient consideration of human rights,” Bachelet said.

The UN Human Rights Commissioner wants action to be taken quickly to establish human rights in the use of artificial intelligence by countries and large companies. “The higher the risk to people’s rights, the stricter the laws should be.”

For artificial intelligence that poses a direct threat to people or human rights, its use and sale should be banned until adequate safeguards are in place, Bachelet says. In concrete terms, the UN Human Rights Commissioner is thinking of, among other things, facial recognition and techniques that enable automatic decision-making or profiling.

Bachelet acknowledges that artificial intelligence can also be positive but believes that too many dangers are associated with it. ‘The chance of discrimination in a decision made by AI is very realistic. Unfortunately, these are sometimes decisions that determine people’s lives. Therefore, there must be systematic monitoring of these systems to eliminate the possibility of human rights violations.’

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