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Leap of FATE

Human Rights as a Complementary Framework for AI Policy and Practice

Translation tutorial presented by: Corinne Cath-Speth, Mark Latonero, Vidushi Marda, Roya Pakzad

This tutorial discusses how human rights frameworks can inform, guide and govern AI policy and practice in a manner that is complementary to Fairness, Accountability, Transparency, and Ethics (FATE) frameworks.

Using the case study of researchers developing a facial recognition API at a tech company and its use by a law enforcement client, we will engage the audience to think through the benefits and challenges of applying human rights frameworks to AI system design and deployment. We will do so by providing a brief overview of the international human rights law, and various non-binding human rights frameworks in relation to our current discussions around FATE and then apply them to contemporary debates and case studies.

The development and deployment of facial recognition demonstrates how human rights frameworks can give AI designers, researchers, and policymakers, a holistic view of potential social impacts of such systems. It helps us identify how, as was the case for example in recent Hong Kong protests, the deployment of facial recognition impedes on the rights to privacy (Article 12 of the UDHR); the right to non-discrimination (Article 2), the right to freedom of expression and opinion (Article 19), the rights to assembly and association (Article 20), and so on. It also allows us to formulate the following avenues for recourse and redress of these violations, while also showing the limits of this framework.

By looking at international human rights standards, national frameworks, and localized applications, we hope to leave participants with a deeper understanding of how to integrate human rights frameworks in their technical development, policymaking and/or advocacy efforts. This tutorial also aims to answer calls within academia and civil society to move the debate beyond voluntary ethics frameworks and develop approaches based in law, that provide concrete obligations for industry.

Who will be delivering this tutorial?

We will spend the first thirty-minute of the tutorial to cover the following topics:

The remaining 60 minutes will consist of an activity moderated by all four presenters.

Who is the target audience?

The tutorial is designed for the general ACM FAT* community:


Slides for this tutorial are available here.