News & Events

Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights Project | Initiative by NLSIU & Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany

January 10, 2023

During September 2022 – January 2023, the National Law School of India University organised a series of lectures, workshops, and courses under the “Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights” Project with the support of the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bangalore. The various initiatives focused on the impact of AI in developing countries, at a time when experts and institutions around the world have noted that AI technologies pose a serious questions with respect to human rights and has urgently called development of appropriate regulations and safeguards.

Sep 23, 2022 | Academic Workshop Phase I | Online Discussion

NLSIU organised an online discussion on AI and Human Rights, on September 23rd, 5pm to 7pm IST. This discussion was part of a broader project on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Human Rights. The primary objective of the discussion is to facilitate academic and policy discussions on some of the emerging challenges to human rights in a world where AI is extensively used for diverse purposes, with or without informed consent.

Three specific areas that have been identified to facilitate focused discussions in this regard are –
AI and privacy; AI and health care; and AI and State decision-making.

Through deliberations with experts in the area, the discussion helped us in identifying some of the key questions that we wished to investigate and deliberate in detail.

Nov 30, 2022 | Public Lecture on “Artificial Intelligence and the Human Rights: Building a Rights Based Perspective”

Prof. Anupam Chander, Scott K. Ginsburg, Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, delivered an insightful speech on the topic of “Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights” at an event organised by the National Law School of India University, Bengaluru on the 30th of November, 2022. Read more about the event here.

Dec 1, 2022 | Academic Workshop Phase II | “Artificial Intelligence and the Human Rights: Building a Rights Based Perspective”

The second phase of the workshop aimed at bringing together a multidisciplinary understanding of AI’s impact on human rights and the on-going work by the scholars in the field, specifically in the Indian context and aims to centre this conversation in vocabulary understood in a more local context. The core research objective that we sought to explore through this workshop was –
“Can a rights based approach address the inequalities and asymmetries perpetrated by technology and the corresponding issue of regulatory arbitrage?”

Each presenter had 20 minutes to present their paper, followed by 30 minutes of comments/questions
from the discussants at the end of the panel presentation.

Workshop Panel 1: AI and Healthcare
Governments across the world, including India, have been proactive in adopting use of AI in the health sector. While the primary argument in favour of leveraging the use of AI in the health sector is to overcome cost, quality, and accessibility challenges faced by the healthcare sector, it is not devoid of ethical, practical, and clinical implications. This part of the discussion explored the human rights related implications and challenges in the area.

Workshop Panel 2: Privacy and Surveillance
AI has often been used to promote the state and private sector’s power to surveil people. Journalists, civil society activists, academicians, lawyers, and the general public have come under the surveillance radar through massive deployment of AI tools. Such expansion of surveillance power can challenge the basic foundations of democracy. Keeping this in mind, we were keen on identifying the ways in which restorative and transformative justice plays a role in governance, content moderation and usage of sophisticated AI. How can we arrive at a more meaningful AI policy which addresses the intersections that lie at the helm of technology and its effects on everyday lives? How do we use the frameworks arrived at by human rights approaches to fit in this context?

Workshop Panel 3: AI and State Decision Making
The traditional forms of governance and decision making are rapidly changing with the adoption of AI. Most governments and decision making authorities, including judiciary, are adopting AI with the objective of improving efficiency in decision making. While AI might help in increasing the speed of decision making, it poses many fundamental challenges to law and justice. The structural biases, and the general lack of transparency and accountability in algorithms and the underlying datasets, pose enormous challenges for human rights. We explored the ways in which technology impacts society in ways more profound than traditional machines, and how it has an impact on issues of labour, division of tasks, transparency, state’s relationship with citizens etc.

Dec 2022 – Jan 2023 | Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights Course

The Online and Hybrid Certificate Course in Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights offered under this project garnered huge interest, especially from working professionals across various sectors such as academia, the IT industry, policy organizations, government, and others. The course was conducted over December 2022 and January 2023. Read more about the course here.