EUROPE’S AI CONVENTION (Syllabus GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     27th May 2024        

Context: Recently, the complexity of global AI governance has intensified, with countries implementing diverse approaches within their borders, from legislative acts to executive directives, despite calls from experts, including the Pope, for a global treaty, hindered by formidable obstacles.

Europe’s AI Convention

  • About: It is a significant step towards regulating artificial intelligence within the framework of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.
  • Lack of Binding Agreements: Despite various ethical guidelines and soft law tools, there's a notable absence of binding agreements or global treaties concerning AI governance.
  • Role of the Council of Europe: It is an intergovernmental organization with 46 member states, including the Holy See, Japan, the U.S., and EU countries, played a pivotal role in adopting the Framework Convention on Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights, Democracy, and the Rule of Law.
  • Nature of the Agreement: The AI convention is a comprehensive framework covering various aspects of AI governance, with a strong emphasis on respecting human rights, fostering democracy, and promoting the responsible use of AI.
  • Significance of the Agreement: The adoption of the AI convention marks a significant milestone in the global efforts to regulate AI technologies, providing a model for other regions to follow in addressing ethical concerns and governance principles.

Framework Conventions

  • Definition: It is a legally binding treaty that outlines broader commitments and objectives under a Convention and establishes mechanisms to achieve them.
  • Protocol Formation: Agreements negotiated under a framework convention are termed protocols, addressing specific areas within the broader scope. 
  • Flexibility and Encoded Principles: The framework convention approach provides flexibility while embedding core principles and processes necessary to realize objectives. Parties can choose methods based on their capacities and priorities.
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