The National Human Rights Council (CNDH) considers human rights relevant to the field of Artificial Intelligence within an international context characterized by a holistic reflection on the matter. Numerous initiatives from international, regional, and national bodies are currently developing. Approaching this topic from a systemic perspective, the establishment of a definition of Artificial Intelligence is required.
While it may prove challenging to find a comprehensive and conventional definition, given the multiple angles of approach, we have adopted the following definition:
Artificial Intelligence is both a scientific field (integrating multiple scientific ranges: mathematics, informatics, neurology, psychology, engineering, sociology…) that aims to create a technological equivalent to human intelligence, on the one hand; and autonomous intelligent systems with algorithms capable of performing actions that have so far been created exclusively by humans, or that help or make decisions or self-learn through the data at their disposal, on the other.
In today’s world where digitization is a lever for societies’ growth and evolution, Artificial Intelligence is used in a wide array of fields, such as: in the field of mobility and image processing (facial recognition, automated archiving, localization, cryptography, etc.); in education; in data processing and decision-making assistance; in maintenance; in data transfers and documentation; in banking and accounting; in health and medicine; in planning; in the field of mapping; building simulations; information and communication.
Artificial Intelligence is thus amongst the mechanisms that facilitate the enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms by citizens. However, the use of Artificial Intelligence is not devoid of risks to certain rights and freedoms, namely the right to physical integrity and integrity of data, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the right to access information, the right to privacy, consumer rights, equality and non-discrimination, protection of vulnerable groups (e.g., children, persons with disabilities), the right to physical and psychological integrity, freedom of elections, the right to employment, freedom of assembly, freedom of peaceful demonstration, ...
The Council shares the conviction of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights that “Artificial Intelligence can be a force for good, helping societies overcome some of the great challenges of our times. But AI technologies can have negative, even catastrophic, effects if used without sufficient regard to how they affect people’s human rights... This is why there needs to be systematic assessment and monitoring of the effects of AI systems to identify and mitigate human rights risks.”
Considering the enormous opportunities that Artificial Intelligence provides to facilitate access to rights and freedoms, on one side, and the risks that its use poses to certain rights and freedoms, on the other, the Council, through its human rights based approach, seeks to propose ways to achieve the following objectives:
- Development of Artificial Intelligence in line with a constructive approach to human rights and the values of a democratic society;
- Study and adequately address the effects of artificial intelligence on human rights;
- Artificial Intelligence actors to assume responsibility for its use;
- Citizens to enjoy the benefits of technology associated with artificial intelligence in respect of human rights.
After conducting broad consultations with all national stakeholders, the Council organized an international seminar in Rabat on December 3rd, 2021, to discuss international initiatives in the organization of artificial intelligence with regard to human rights, the various standards, guidelines, and regulations, and governing principles in the field.