IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2021 - 56

Feature
economic discrimination, and intrusion in our private
lives or criminal offences.
Social and economic discrimination or bias is a
prejudice for or against something or somebody that
may result in unfair decisions. It is known that humans
are biased in their decision-making. Since AI systems
are designed by humans, it is possible that humans
inject their bias into them, even in an unintended
way. Many current AI systems are based on machine
learning (ML) data-driven techniques. Therefore, a predominant
way to inject bias can be in the collection
and selection of training data. If the training data is
not inclusive and balanced enough, the system could
learn to make unfair decisions. At the same time, AI
can help humans to identify their biases and assist
them in making less-biased decisions.
As some authors say, " even if the solutions are
optimal from a mathematical point of view (given
a certain range of selected parameters), additional
research would be needed to assess the long-term
impact of such algorithms on equity and fairness,
precisely because of the unknown factors that may
come into play " [2]. " It is likely that the AI projects
with the highest potential of maximizing profit
will get funded. Without control, research on AI is
expected to be directed toward AI applications
where funding and commercial interests are. This
may result in increased inequality " [3].
In the same vein, the recently released United
Nations (UN) report of the Special Rapporteur on
extreme poverty and human rights warns of the
" risk of stumbling zombie-like into a digital welfare
dystopia " [4] where " Big Tech has been a driver of
growing inequality and has facilitated the creation of
a vast digital underclass. " The report provides many
well-documented examples in different countries on
how dehumanized intelligent technologies are creating
barriers to accessing a range of social rights for
those lacking internet access and digital skills [5].
Human rights are ethical values and principles
which are essential to achieving the sustainable
development goals (SDGs). The human-rights framework
has international consensus from all states that
have ratified the main legal texts. Therefore, they are
enforceable. On the contrary, the SDG agenda is a
political commitment. This article tries to introduce a
human-rights approach and SDGs' perspective to the
new regulation on AI. A human-rights approach to the
development and use of new technologies is increasingly
common internationally, with a growing number
56
of experts emphasizing the importance of human-rights
law in analyzing the social impacts of new and emerging
technologies (see [6]-[8]). Some international
initiatives use human rights as one of the number of
" lenses " through which to view the development and
use of new technologies [9], [10]. A human-rights
approach to new technologies means putting human
rights as our common goal and building human
rights into all aspects of policy development and decision-making.
A growing number of scholars are advocating
for the human-rights platform to replace ethics
as the dominant framework for debate (see [11]).
Some key features of a human-rights approach include
inherent disposition to the following:
* Promote transparency in government decision-making:
Governments should consider the
impact of policy and governance for new technologies
on people's human rights and build
safeguards for human-rights protection.
* Ensure accountability of: 1) Government, by putting
in place measures to influence government
use of new technologies, such as through procurement
rules, and clearly defining state and
nonstate obligations in a human-rights-compliant
regulatory framework and 2) nonstate actors,
with responsibility and liability defined by the
government's framework.
* Ensure that new technologies are nondiscriminatory
in their application: For example, antidiscrimination
laws should be applied to the development and use
of new and emerging technologies. It also means
taking into account the specific needs of people who
are vulnerable, such as people with disability who
may face exclusion by inaccessible technologies.
* Require participatory approaches: This aims to ensure
the voices of all stakeholders impacted by new and
emerging technologies are heard, including the general
public, particularly affected groups and civil society,
as well as experts and decision-makers.
* Build capacity across the community: The community
needs to understand the impact of new
technologies on their lives, such as the impact
of automation in decision-making processes for
essential services, and have knowledge of, and
access to, a review process and/or remedy.
Human rights and new technology can intersect.
New technologies can advance or restrict one or
more human rights and sometimes offer both possibilities
at once. Summarizing [12] the following:
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine

IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2021

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