Azerbaijani MP joins PACE Committee online meeting

Baku, July 10, AZERTAC

A video conference of the PACE Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination has today been held. Reports on a number of topical issues such as “Upholding human rights in times of crisis and pandemics: gender equality and non-discrimination”, “Preventing discrimination caused by the use of artificial intelligence”, “Discrimination against Roma and Travellers in the field of housing” were heard at the online meeting, and the participants exchanged views regarding these reports.

Konul Nurullayeva, a member of Parliament, and PACE Committee on Equality and Discrimination represented Azerbaijan at the online meeting and delivered a speech on artificial intelligence (AI). Referring to the preliminary draft report she agreed with the opinion that the AI is transforming the way we live, and stressed some positive sides of it. According to her, the AI helps to detect unfair discrimination on the basis of race or gender, at the same time it can be applied in health sector to measure patient's overall health status and predict dangerous diseases. The AI speeds efforts to develop clean, virtually limitless fusion energy as well.

Along with the positive sides, MP Nurullayeva also touched upon the risks associated with the development and appliance of the AI. She noted that bias and discrimination can be proliferated by artificial intelligence because there is a gap between existing anti-discrimination laws and technology’s new capabilities, and this gap is referred to as cultural lag. The MP mentioned that existing anti-discrimination laws could lead to an overestimation of the fairness of the decision outcomes.

Konul Nurullayeva also noted some prevention methods related to the AI. She grouped those methods in this way:

• Inclusion of additional anti-discrimination measures which help to reduce statistical bias

• To develop a code of conduct for the members of organization in order to reduce discrimination

• Non-discrimination law and data protection law are the main legal instruments that could protect the right to non-discrimination.

She also brought Azerbaijan’s approach to the AI to participants’ attention and shared the country’s experience with them: “Azerbaijan has a goal to adopt artificial intelligence in the country in many spheres. It will be applied more in energy industry, education, justice, transportation and human rights sector in the near future”.

The MP considers that algorithms can perform better than human decision-makers in the future.

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