Christina Forsgård Jul 16, 2020 2:39:30 PM

Emotions will shape human rights in the digital space

It is only realism to admit that we are entering a completely new era of human rights. Communications technology and artificial intelligence have already brought new challenges and continue to create serious threats to human rights, democracy, and rule of law.

It looks like we have two highly important elements in the heart of global human rights - technology and narratives. And they are both powered by human emotions - what we feel is right and wrong. An AI algorithm developer is coding with biases and a communications professional is creating narratives based on the feelings of right and wrong.

We are humans, our feelings guide us to act, react, love, flee or attack. We need to keep enforcing ethical thinking, commit ourselves to codes of conduct and universal standards, as well as find ways to create globally binding law in multilateral work groups.

I am very proud of our global community of communications professionals, the International Communications Consultancy Organisation, which represents 66 countries and over 3,000 public relations agencies. ICCO has been appointed as an official partner of the Council Of Europe, the international human rights body whose membership includes 47 countries, 27 of which are EU members. 

ICCO deputy CEO Rob Morbin and I participated in a meeting on the Council’s work plan for digital activity in 2020 in Strasbourg.  Our discussion focused on four themes: artificial intelligence, facial recognition, hate speech and digital literacy.

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