AI for good: Recommendations for enhancing legal frameworks for AI and robotics

Reading Time: 2 minutes
MicrosoftTeams image 3


Dr Rowena Rodrigues | Head of Innovation & Research
Anaïs Rességuier | Senior Research Analyst

Date: 9 January 2021

Human genomics, human enhancement, artificial intelligence and robotics offer benefits for both individuals and society. However, it is essential to consider the ethics and human rights implications of these technologies to ensure successful and sustainable research outputs.

The SIENNA project worked to ensure that human rights, fundamental freedoms, and ethical values are respected in the design, development and deployment of new and emerging technologies. Throughout the project lifecycle, partners engaged policy makers in public consultations to identify potential changes in existing legal and human rights frameworks at the international, EU and national levels, to better prioritise ethics considerations.

The SIENNA project released its recommendations for the enhancement of the existing legal frameworks for genomics, human enhancement, and artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. This report identifies potential changes in existing legal and human rights frameworks (at the international, EU and national level) that might be necessary or desirable in order to create an environment in which the SIENNA proposals for ethical AI human genetics and genomics, human enhancement technologies and AI and robotics could be implemented most effectively.

Trilateral, one of the proud partners of the SIENNA project, authored the report’s AI and Robotics Recommendations, for improving the enforcement, uptake and effectiveness of existing legislation regarding artificial intelligence and robotics.

Key takeaways

  • At the International level, there is a need to clarify how existing human rights frameworks apply to AI/robotics. While the adoption of a new human rights treaty for AI and robotics is a low priority, changes to existing relevant laws may be desirable.
  • At the EU level, it is urgent to ensure a harmonised approach across the European Union and establish common governance standards to address ethical and human rights-related risks of AI and robotics.
  • At the national level, there is a need to ensure that any changes in legislation are fit for purpose and in accordance with the country’s international obligations, especially with regards to human rights and fundamental values.

There is a need to improve and enhance legal frameworks for AI and robotics to ensure effective and robust protection of human rights, fundamental freedoms and ethical values (e.g., access, autonomy, dignity, equality, privacy, safety, security, transparency, trust, responsibility, well-being) in the context of AI and robotics, either by enhancing existing legal frameworks and tools and/or developing new ones. Human rights and ethical frameworks and mechanisms should underpin and inspire the governance of AI and robotics. Ethics may help to identify new challenges brought about by AI and robotics, and provide guidance on how to navigate them, while law must be put in place to regulate these technologies.

Read the report here.

Learn more about the SIENNA project and contact our team for more information.

Related posts

Let's discuss your career