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Published 19.06.24

Regulation could strengthen trust in technology

Torsten Krause, SDC

After three days of intensive discussion and exchange, this year's edition of the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) concluded in Vilnius (Lithuania) on 19 June. At the closing event, the messages of the conference were discussed with regard to political projects within the European Union, the digitalisation of administrations and the use of citizens' data, artificial intelligence and against the backdrop of ongoing discussions on the Global Digital Compact. As soon as they are published, they will also be available here.

Prior to this, on the last day of the conference, participants from politics, industry, civil society, science and research focussed on issues relating to artificial intelligence (AI). In their presentations, Tomas Lamanauskas, Deputy Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and Mariju Pejcinovic Buric, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, addressed current international developments in the regulation of AI. Tomas Lamanauskaus defined the cornerstones on which the global community needs to reach an understanding. According to him, there should be an agreement on setting a framework for artificial intelligence that fulfils the requirements of human rights, ensures interoperability through the development of international technical standards and helps to reduce the digital divide. Around 2.6 billion people are still not part of the digital society for various reasons, the Deputy Secretary General of the ITU reminded us in this context.

Mariju Pejcinovic Buric then presented the Council of Europe's Framework Convention on Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights. This treaty will enter into force on 5 September this year and is the first international legally binding treaty in this area. The Council of Europe is thus pursuing the goal of safeguarding human dignity and individual autonomy in the age of AI, counteracting discrimination and protecting privacy and data. The Secretary General emphasised that artificial intelligence has the power to change societies and that the Council of Europe is committed to using this power to further advance the realisation of human rights. Following on from this, it was pointed out in a subsequent discussion that trust in technologies is higher in regions of the world where societies perceive regulations as efficient and safe. To ensure that this can also be achieved with regard to artificial intelligence, it seems necessary to include as many perspectives and areas of expertise as possible in the regulatory process in order to find solutions that do justice to the diverse possible uses and areas of application of AI.

The youth representatives at the conference were unafraid of this. Technology is not bad per se; rather, the way it is used is always in the hands of the user. Previous developments and technologies were also sometimes seen with concern, but with good regulation, security can also be guaranteed in the future.