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CAIDP – CAHAI Approves Feasibility Study for AI Legal Standards

The third plenary session of the CAHAI, an expert group on AI policy, took place this week. [Meeting report.] The CAHAI (the “Ad Hoc Committee on Artificial Intelligence”) was established by the Committee of Ministers in 2019 to examine the feasibility of a new legal instrument based on the Council of Europe’s (COE) standards on human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

This week the CAHAI published Toward Regulation of AI Systems and convened a panel to discuss Democratic Governance of AI. The CAHAI report explored global perspectives on the development of AI legal frameworks, and highlighted recent developments in Israel, Mexico, and Japan. The report emphasized that the COE has “a crucial role to play to ensure that Artificial Intelligence (AI) complies with the Organisation’s standards on human rights, democracy and the rule of law.”

The Council of Europe is a leader in the realm of international legal instruments and human rights. All Council of Europe member states have signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights. And Article 8 of that Convention has done much to shape modern privacy law. COE Conventions are also open for ratification by non-member state. The original COE Convention on Privacy (Convention 108) was ratified by 56 countries.

A key outcome from the December 2020 meeting of the CAHAI was the approval of the Feasibility Study on AI Legal Standards. The Feasibility Study will soon be published online.

The COE also announced an online event on 20 January 2021 “Human Rights in the Age of AI – Europe as an International Standard Setter for AI,” organised with the support of the Council of Europe.

In CAIDP Update 1.17 (Oct. 31, 2020) we reported that the COE Parliamentary Assembly adopted a Resolution on the Need for Democratic Governance of Artificial Intelligence.  The Assembly called for “strong and swift action” by the Council of Europe. The parliamentarians warned that “soft-law instruments and self-regulation have proven so far not sufficient in addressing these challenges and in protecting human rights, democracy and rule of law.”

Marc Rotenberg, Director

Center for AI and Digital Policy at the Michael Dukakis Institute

The Center for AI and Digital Policy, founded in 2020, advises governments on technology policy.