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Published 09.10.23

Trust is essential

Jutta Croll, Marlene Fasolt & Torsten Krause, SDC

The role of artificial intelligence plays a major role in many events of the Internet Governance Forum 2023, but also in the corridors of the Congress Centre in Kyoto and in discussions during breaks. Common to these conversations are, on the one hand, the great expectations and hopes associated with the technologies. On the other hand, concerns and fears about their effects are also present. At the High Level Panel on Artificial Intelligence, it was emphasised several times that knowledge about the data used and its diversity, but also transparency about the effects of the technologies are crucial for accepting the results and consequences of artificial intelligence and dealing with them. Openness is the key to creating the necessary trust, which in turn provides the basis for being able to use the opportunities that are opening up for all people and in the sense of their rights. How companies and providers can be encouraged to ensure this openness is also a matter of debate for many states and organisations around the world. In the event The Role of Parliamentarians in Shaping a Trusted Internet Empowering All People, parliamentarians were also called upon to create meaningful solutions and regulations that bring order to complex issues. Furthermore, it was pleaded for the United Nations to be used as a catalyst for these diverse processes in order to learn from each other and, as a result, to set frameworks that make it possible to realise the rights of all people by means of artificial intelligence.

#495 Next-Gen Education: Harnessing Generative AI

A discussion with three speakers and the audience explored what policies should be in place to ensure the responsible and ethical use of generative AI technologies in educational settings. There were also an exchange on how policymakers can collaborate with relevant stakeholders to ensure that teaching and learning processes are enhanced while sustaining creativity, critical thinking and problem solving, but also how to ensure that the use of generative AI by youth in education is inclusive, age-appropriate and aligned with their developmental needs and abilities.

The speakers agreed that generative AI has immense potential to reform education and can lead to more inclusive, personalized and accessible education. As everyone has a different learning style, generative AI can personalize the learning tools and e.g. translate lectures into different languages, add audio description, etc. They also noted the risks regarding data privacy, an overreliance on the technology as well as discrimination and biases due to the training data sets that are based on white westerners and often times ignore minorities. Because of this, more robust data protection rules were recommended as well as generative AI built in different countries and regions that recognize local language and cultures. It is important to keep a balanced view that looks at the benefits as well as the risks of this technology.

When regulating generative AI the importance of cooperation and collaboration was emphasized, especially the need to include children’s and young people’s voices in the discourse. As important is also starting an ongoing discussion between policy makers, technology companies, students, teachers, and parents that aims to establish clear guidelines on generative AI in education. Policy makers should take a human centric approach, embrace new technologies, and not hinder innovation, while educators should learn to work with generative AI, instead of banning it, as students will use it regardless. When considering these points and leading additional digital literacy programs AI can become a bridge and not a barrier to education.

DC-DDHT Robotics & the Medical Internet of Things (MIoT)

Children's rights were also addressed in the Dynamic Coalition on Data Driven Health Technologies (DC-)DDHT session, which focused on robotics and the medical Internet of Things (MIoT). Jutta Croll referred to Art. 24 of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child that obliges states to recognize the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health. More than 30 years after the UN-CRC was adopted General Comment No #25 provides for guidance how states obligations should be interpreted in the digital environment children are now growing-up in. The Internet of Things may play an important role in children’s health, given privacy and the protection of children’s data are ensured. Jutta Croll also emphasized that a child’s health begins at its birth and has to be addressed continuously. A child’s health, she said, start with its birth, therefore without identification, registration and acknowledgment of child / person, access to healthcare may be limited, delayed or denied - as described in General Comment 25. With regard to medical Internet of Things she referred to Teddy the Guardian, a health monitoring device for children and pointed out there are issues of privacy, transparency and ethics in regard to children’s sensitive data.