Human rights, democracy, and the rule of law assurance framework for AI systems: A proposal

by   David Leslie, et al.

Following on from the publication of its Feasibility Study in December 2020, the Council of Europe's Ad Hoc Committee on Artificial Intelligence (CAHAI) and its subgroups initiated efforts to formulate and draft its Possible Elements of a Legal Framework on Artificial Intelligence, based on the Council of Europe's standards on human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. This document was ultimately adopted by the CAHAI plenary in December 2021. To support this effort, The Alan Turing Institute undertook a programme of research that explored the governance processes and practical tools needed to operationalise the integration of human right due diligence with the assurance of trustworthy AI innovation practices. The resulting framework was completed and submitted to the Council of Europe in September 2021. It presents an end-to-end approach to the assurance of AI project lifecycles that integrates context-based risk analysis and appropriate stakeholder engagement with comprehensive impact assessment, and transparent risk management, impact mitigation, and innovation assurance practices. Taken together, these interlocking processes constitute a Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law Assurance Framework (HUDERAF). The HUDERAF combines the procedural requirements for principles-based human rights due diligence with the governance mechanisms needed to set up technical and socio-technical guardrails for responsible and trustworthy AI innovation practices. Its purpose is to provide an accessible and user-friendly set of mechanisms for facilitating compliance with a binding legal framework on artificial intelligence, based on the Council of Europe's standards on human rights, democracy, and the rule of law, and to ensure that AI innovation projects are carried out with appropriate levels of public accountability, transparency, and democratic governance.


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