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Balancing Innovation with Human Rights: The Role of AI Regulation in Development

Artificial Intelligence, Regulation, and the Right to Development: Ensuring a Rights-Based Approach to AI Progress

The study will address the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI), regulation, and the right to development. AI’s ability to model climate change, select job candidates, and predict criminal behavior demonstrates its potential to replace humans and make decisions faster and more cost-effectively. While AI has been beneficial in many ways, algorithmic bias can reinforce existing inequalities and discrimination. As AI continues to replace human jobs, it risks depriving people of meaningful participation in their lives. Moreover, high-risk AI activities can sometimes cause serious physical harm instead of benefiting humanity.

Promoting reliable, robust, and trustworthy AI applications is fundamental to positive AI progress. This requires public participation, scientific integrity, and a commitment to transparency, trust, and authorization. However, most AI initiatives developed globally in recent years have largely lacked regulatory oversight. Except for ethical guidelines, legislators worldwide have yet to design specific domestic laws regulating AI use. The proposed EU AI Act may become the first example of binding legislation in this field, but its development and potential extra-territorial impact remain uncertain. It is also unclear if it will influence other regions or countries to adopt similar regulations.

In the absence of robust laws that go beyond ethical principles, there is a real risk of breaching the right to development. Effective and meaningful participation is necessary for individuals and peoples to contribute to and enjoy economic, social, cultural, and political development, where all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized. This risk must be mitigated through robust regulation, including the right to pause AI development, similar to the ‘right not to develop’ concept used by indigenous peoples. Innovation and development should not come at the expense of human rights; a rights-based approach is essential for AI progress.

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