Institute Researcher addresses Council of Europe Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy
Visiting research fellow Dr Birgit Schippers addressed a recent meeting of the Council of Europe Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy in Strasbourg, where she spoke on the need for democratic governance of artificial intelligence (AI).
In her talk, Dr Schippers highlighted the risks posed by unaccountable and often hidden interferences of AI-based technologies into our democratic processes and institutions. She identified as key concerns the capability of AI-systems to undermine the transparency and accountability of democratic decision-making; to facilitate abuses of power by States and state agencies; and to blur the boundaries between the responsibilities of democratic states, and the interests of private corporations.
Dr Schippers also proposed a series of measures aimed at safe-guarding and strengthening democratic politics. These include the protection of fundamental rights and of electoral processes, but also the effective regulation of AI design, development and usage. As Dr Schippers argued, what is needed is a more prominent and wide-ranging conversation on the impact of AI than is currently taking place. Such a conversation also requires a citizenry educated for the digital age and aware of the ethical and political challenges that AI poses.