National AI Strategies from a human rights perspective

Report by Global Partners Digital: “…looks at existing strategies adopted by governments and regional organisations since 2017. It assesses the extent to which human rights considerations have been incorporated and makes a series of recommendations to policymakers looking to develop or revise AI strategies in the future….

Our report found that while the majority of National AI Strategies mention human rights, very few contain a deep human rights-based analysis or concrete assessment of how various AI applications impact human rights. In all but a few cases, they also lacked depth or specificity on how human rights should be protected in the context of AI, which was in contrast to the level of specificity on other issues such as economic competitiveness or innovation advantage. 

The report provides recommendations to help governments develop human rights-based national AI strategies. These recommendations fall under six broad themes:

  • Include human rights explicitly and throughout the strategy: Thinking about the impact of AI on human rights-and how to mitigate the risks associated with those impacts- should be core to a national strategy. Each section should consider the risks and opportunities AI provides as related to human rights, with a specific focus on at-risk, vulnerable and marginalized communities.
  • Outline specific steps to be taken to ensure human rights are protected: As strategies engage with human rights, they should include specific goals, commitments or actions to ensure that human rights are protected.
  • Build in incentives or specific requirements to ensure rights-respecting practice: Governments should take steps within their strategies to incentivize human rights-respecting practices and actions across all sectors, as well as to ensure that their goals with regards to the protection of human rights are fulfilled.
  • Set out grievance and remediation processes for human rights violations: A National AI Strategy should look at the existing grievance and remedial processes available for victims of human rights violations relating to AI. The strategy should assess whether the process needs revision in light of the particular nature of AI as a technology or in the capacity-building of those involved so that they are able to receive complaints concerning AI.
  • Recognize the regional and international dimensions to AI policy: National strategies should clearly identify relevant regional and global fora and processes relating to AI, and the means by which the government will promote human rights-respecting approaches and outcomes at them through proactive engagement.
  • Include human rights experts and other stakeholders in the drafting of National AI Strategies: When drafting a national strategy, the government should ensure that experts on human rights and the impact of AI on human rights are a core part of the drafting process….(More)”.