Known to the general public through tools like ChatGPT, generative artificial intelligence portends a double-edged future for the head of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
Türk, speaking at a summit on AI and human rights, said it was crucial to ensure these rights were quickly placed “at the center of the entire life cycle of AI technologies”. establish “effective risk management frameworks” and “safeguards that work”.
Increasingly alarmed by the ability of digital technologies to reshape societies and influence global politics, Mr. Türk spoke of the upcoming elections, with 4 billion people tasked with electing their leaders next year in some 70 countries.
Each of these election deadlines can be influenced by “digital forgeries” – false images created from scratch to discredit or compromise an opponent – and “disinformation campaigns”.
“The impact of AI will be global”
Calling for relentless action against this scourge, Mr. Türk also called for a comprehensive assessment of the many areas where AI could be a game-changer – “including the threats it poses to respect for minorities, political participation, access public services and civil liberties”.
To companies that are at the forefront of this matter, the person responsible for human rights launched a solemn appeal to ensure that “their algorithms, operational processes and business models guarantee respect for human rights”.
Calling for the creation of an international body responsible for AI governance, the senior official noted that initiatives were flourishing around the world, but that they lacked coordination and did not place sufficient emphasis on respect for human rights. He feared differing definitions of ethics and the notion of “acceptable risk” with regard to artificial intelligence.
“Generative AI is not a local or national phenomenon. Its impact will be global – and that requires a global approach,” he said.