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International: CoE Parliamentary Assembly issues opinion on draft AI convention

On April 18, 2024, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (CoE) published its Opinion 303 (2024) on the draft Framework on Artificial Intelligence, Human Rights, Democracy, and the Rule of Law by the Committee on Artificial Intelligence.

The Assembly must provide its opinion on the draft framework before it is adopted by the Committee of Ministers, after which it may be signed and ratified.

In particular, the Assembly provided that CoE Member States, when ratifying the draft framework, should opt to fully apply its provisions to the activities of private actors. Specifically, the Assembly provided that the draft framework does not address the risks and impacts arising from the use of artificial intelligence (AI) by private actors and that a differentiated approach for the private sector creates a significant loophole.

In addition, the Assembly proposed amendments to provisions on national security, proposing that AI activities necessary to protect national security only be possible if the activities are in line with international human rights law. The Assembly also proposed that Member States should establish mechanisms to ban or limit certain uses of AI systems where such use cases are considered incompatible with the respect of human rights, the functioning of democracy, and the rule of law.

Further proposals by the Assembly include the addition of appropriate measures to ensure the protection of whistleblowers in relation to activities within the AI lifecycle systems.

You can read the press release here, the opinion here, and the draft framework here.