TILT Seminar: Prof. Alessandro Mantelero, Polytechnic University of Turin
Beyond Data: Human Rights, Ethical and Social Impact Assessment in AI
The missing piece of AI regulation
Data-intensive systems relying on AI raise challenging issues not fully addressed by data protection, which for many years has been the main legal framework for the digital environment. This leads policymakers and legislators to go beyond data and its regulation.
Against this background, the answers provided by the debate on data ethics and by regulatory proposals on AI are often polarised by emphasising the specific point of view adopted. This trend has led to an improper overlap between ethics and human rights on the one hand, and safety-oriented regulation on the other. The lack of a methodological approach to deal with the various risks identified and the multifaceted issues of the societal impacts of AI is the main shortcoming of the current debate.
To develop human-centric AI, attention must be paid to the different dimensions of its impact, both legal and societal, by defining appropriate methodologies to deal with each of them. One-size-fits-all solutions, questionnaire-based checklists, guidelines focusing on general principles, and an overestimation of the standardisation process seem far from achieving this goal.
On the contrary, building on both experience in human rights impact assessment and data protection, it is possible to develop a comprehensive methodology that can provide a quantifiable assessment of the impact of AI on human rights and a range of solutions for expert evaluation of societal impacts. This includes strengthening the role of stakeholder and rights-holder participation in the design and development of a truly human-centric AI.
The book Beyond Data: Human Rights, Ethical and Social Impact Assessment in AI aims to provide this methodology and open the debate on the missing piece of AI regulation, namely impact assessment, which cannot be delegated to mere technical or safety-focused approaches and standards.
Speaker: Alessandro Mantelero , Polytechnic University of Turin
Alessandro Mantelero is Associate Professor of Private Law and Law & Technology at Polytechnic University of Turin. In 2022 he was granted the Jean Monnet Chair in Mediterranean Digital Societies and Law by the European Commission. From 2016 to 2022, he served as scientific expert for the Council of Europe on AI, data protection and human rights. As an expert on data regulation, AI, and human rights, he has advised several organizations, including the UN, the European Commission, the EU FRA, the Italian Ministry of Justice, the Presidency of the Dominican Republic, and the Brazilian Federal Senate. He acts as an independent ethical reviewer for research projects funded by the European Commission.
His latest book is Beyond Data. Human Rights, Ethical and Social Impact Assessment in AI (Springer-Asser, 2022).
Moderator: Eleni Kosta