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Council of Europe at the IGF - Hungary: Human rights must be at heart of the policy approach towards artificial intelligence

Budapest 16 September 2019
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Council of Europe at the IGF - Hungary: Human rights must be at heart of the policy approach towards artificial intelligence

On 12 September 2019 the first Internet Generation Forum took place in Budapest, Hungary. The forum hosted two panel discussions where participants debated on the future of the internet in the Central European region and on the impacts of artificial intelligence (AI) on the information environment and human rights.

The Council of Europe joined the debate in the second panel highlighting the profound interconnection between the proliferation of new devices and technologies based on data-driven algorithms powered by AI, and major changes in the information environment that we are currently witnessing. Panellists, representing a range of stakeholder groups and coming from different European countries, shared their views on the appropriate policy approach towards AI, arriving at a unanimous conclusion that human rights must be at the heart of such approach.

Earlier, on 11 September 2019, the COMPACT project (partner to the IGF Hungary) held a Budapest Symposium discussing the liability of internet intermediaries in the context of online content moderation. The event brought together policy-makers, academics, NGOs and other stakeholders for a substantive exchange on how to create a proper regulatory framework. The debate demonstrated that there is a growing consensus that self-regulation is no replacement for legally binding legal provisions when human rights are at stake and that a clearer understanding of the role and impact of internet intermediaries, with proportionate responsibilities, is required. The CM Recommendation (2018)2 on the roles and responsibilities of internet intermediaries remains an important reference point for states in considering different policy options because it promotes a clearly defined co-regulatory approach and supports the appropriate weighing of conflicting interests and public policy objectives.