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Digital Society Initiative

UZH Digital Forum: Successful guest lecture by UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston

Artificial intelligence is constantly evolving, it is in the process of drastically changing all of our lives. Human rights form a suitable normative framework for the regulation of artificial intelligence, as UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston emphasized in his guest lecture at the UZH at the UZH Digital Forum.

Artificial intelligence promises to facilitate many areas of human activity: the language assistants Siri, Cortana and Alexa are based on artificial intelligence (AI), as are Google Maps and parking assistants in cars. In addition to the advantages and potential of AI, there is also a downside to the coin that should not be underestimated: so-called lethal autonomous weapons such as missile launch systems independently identify and eliminate targets and enable new forms of inhumane warfare; social bots can manipulate the behavior of voters.

Artificial intelligence is what makes the advancing digitalization possible in the first place and will shape our everyday lives even more comprehensively in the future. What far-reaching implications this will have for us is difficult to predict. Philip Alston at the UZH spoke about the consequences AI can have from a human rights perspective and the role that human rights should play in the regulation of AIs. Alston is Professor at the New York University School of Law and UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights. He gave his presentation at the UZH Digital Forum. The interdisciplinary conference addressed the legal and ethical aspects of autonomous security systems and was organized by the UZH Digital Society Initiative (DSI).

Please find the whole press release about the guest lecture of Philip G. Alston here (in German).

Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty

Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights at his lecture at the UZH Digital Forum "Artificial Intelligence: A Threat to Human Rights?

Voller Hörsaal zum Vortrag

"Full House" at the UZH Digital Forum

Philip Alston and Markus Christen

Philip Alston and moderator Markus Christen (UZH Digital Society Initiative) in conversation.

Kommentatorin des Vortrags: Nadja Braun Binder

Nadja Braun Binder from the UZH commented on Philip Alston's lecture.

Thomas Burri, Uni St. Gallen

Also commented on the lecture by Philip Alston: Thomas Burri from the University of St. Gallen.