European Parliament: Make sure the AI act protects peoples’ rights!

Ahead of the AI Act vote in the European Parliament, civil society calls on Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to ensure the EU Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act) prioritises fundamental rights and protects people affected by artificial intelligence (AI) systems.

Increasingly we see the deployment of AI systems to monitor and identify us in public spaces, predict our likelihood of criminality, re-direct policing and immigration control to already over-surveilled areas, facilitate violations of the right to claim asylum and the presumption of innocence, predict our emotions and categorise us using discriminatory inferences, and to make crucial decisions about us that determine our access to welfare, education and employment.

Without proper regulation, AI systems will exacerbate existing societal harms of mass surveillance, structural discrimination, centralised power of large technology companies, the unaccountable public decision-making and environmental extraction. The complexity, lack of accountability and public transparency, and few available processes for redress present challenges for people to enforce their rights when harmed by AI systems. In particular, these barriers present a particular risk for the most marginalised in society.

The EU’s AI Act can, and should, address these issues, ensuring that AI development and use operates within a framework of accountability, transparency and appropriate, fundamental-rights based limitations. We are calling for MEPs to ensure the following in the AI Act vote:

  1. Empower people affected by AI systems
  2. Ensure accountability and transparency for the use of AI
  3. Prohibit AI systems that pose an unacceptable risk for fundamental rights

We call on Members of the European Parliament to vote to include these protections in the AI act and ensure the Regulation is a vehicle for the promotion of fundamental rights and social justice.