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Law and Governance of Artificial Intelligence

The course ‘Law and Governance of Artificial Intelligence’, which is offered within the MCTS master’s programs ‘Science and Technology Studies’ and ‘Reponsibility in Science, Engineering and Technology’ recently welcomed Lisa Gutermuth, Senior Program Manager of the project Ranking Digital Rights (RDR), for a guest lecture on ways to govern the development of and by AI through indicators, comparisons, and benchmarks.

First, she introduced the students to her work at RDR, which promotes freedom of expression and privacy on the internet. She then went on to explain how RDR sets standards and creates incentives for powerful internet, mobile and telecommunication companies on human rights issues by scoring their policies, commitments, and practices affecting freedom of expression. For 2020, RDR is expanding its scope by tackling targeted ads and applications of algorithms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

Following her lecture, Lisa Gutermuth and the students engaged in a dialogue on the impact of standards as a governing tool as well as limitations and challenges in setting and promoting standards in light of varying national and jurisdictional contexts, integrity of Tech Giants, and symbolic change. Gutermuth’s explanations allowed the participating students to get a digital glimpse on how projects like RDR can apply soft law on Big Tech and make them commit to digital human rights. Gutermuth made it clear that, although the power of Big Tech is growing, so are the possibilities of multi-disciplinary methodologies for governing human rights. The Q&A session also gave the students an opportunity to engage in a conversation about job opportunities and career steps in this field.

Lisa Gutermuth

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