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Artificial Intelligence: Helsinki conference conclusions

AI should be developed in a human-centric manner to produce benefits for individuals and for societies
Council of Europe Helsinki 27 February 2019
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Antti Häkkänen

Antti Häkkänen

The key message of the Helsinki conference on the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) development on human rights is that more research, understanding, trust and transparency are needed with regard to AI, as well as multi-stakeholder cooperation.

The second and final day of the conference was opened by the Justice Minister of Finland, Antti Häkkänen and Liliane Maury Pasquier, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. A session was held on AI and the Rule of Law and conclusions of the conference were published.

In the Conference conclusions, published today, guidance for the way forward to ensure that AI development occurs safely and for the benefit for all includes the following points:

  • Timely and thoughtful policy responses should be placed at the top of governments' political agendas;
  • The economic benefits deriving from AI cannot be realised without duly respecting the potential for economic growth and innovation of AI;
  • States and all stakeholders are required to coordinate efforts and, inter alia, share information and good practices;
  • AI should be developed in a human-centric manner to produce benefits for individuals and for societies;
  • Effective supervisory mechanisms and democratic oversight structures regarding the design, development and deployment of AI must be in place;
  • Public awareness of the potential risks and benefits of AI must be enhanced and necessary new competencies and skills developed;
  • Effective and legitimate mechanisms to prevent human rights violations and thwart discrimination, inequality and bias are necessary;
  • Algorithmic transparency is crucial for building trust and ensuring due rights protection;
  • Equality before the law should not be compromised by algorithmic calculation;
  • AI must be compiled with to ensure that technological progress occurs in line with the principles of human rights, democracy and rule of law and respecting existing landmark international instruments;
  • The Council of Europe should continue to develop sector-specific recommendations, guidelines and codes of conduct to promote human rights and the viability of democratic institutions and processes. The Council of Europe should monitor the impact of AI on the collective foundations of democratic societies.

The two-day conference Governing the Game Changer – Impacts of artificial intelligence development on human rights, democracy and the rule of law was organised by the Council of Europe and the Finnish Presidency of the Committee of Ministers.


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