This article is about Technology

Brazil needs to regulate AI to avoid human distortion

Nuno Oliveira

Published at
12 de September de 2023

Artificial intelligence has inhabited the human imagination since it was introduced to the general public by Hal 9000, the supercomputer conceived by English writer Arthur C. Clarke and American filmmaker Stanley Kubrick in "2001: A Space Odyssey ", a masterpiece of science fiction immortalized by cinema, in 1968. In the story, Hal is responsible for the entire operation of the Discovery One spacecraft, which was on a mission to Jupiter. After an analysis error, its infallibility is questioned by the astronauts and the machine kills the crew. Only one escapes, David, who can turn it off. Earlier, in his defense, Hal claims that “if there is a flaw, it is human” — which would be confirmed in the subsequent book, "2010: A Space Odyssey II.”

Again, fiction anticipated reality — and Clarke and Kubrick themselves anticipated the cause of the problem, already glimpsing a necessary debate about the responsible and ethical use of artificial intelligence and possible consequences caused by the lack of governance. The problem is not technology, but its use by society, which has its rules established by the rule of law. Therefore, it is essential that there is an awareness that it is necessary to regulate the use of AI, with civil and even criminal liability in relation to its misuse and its consequences.

In July, the United Nations International Telecommunication Union hosted the “Artificial Intelligence for Good” global summit, bringing together governments, researchers, industries and NGOs, in Geneva. The concerns of the UN are joined by those of the National Congress.

In the Senate, a committee of jurists led by Justice Ricardo Villas Bôas Cueva, of the Superior Court of Justice, has drawn up a proposal for a legal framework for artificial intelligence in Brazil - which is being processed in the form of Bill 2,338, presented this year by the Speaker of the House, Rodrigo Pacheco.

The text proposes respect for ethical principles in the use of artificial intelligence and the General Data Protection Law, determines that the operation of algorithms is transparent and duly explained by those who make use of them to the population, establishes civil liability and aims to avoid negative social impacts arising from their operation.

The proposal also highlights the protection of fundamental rights, democracy and the implementation of security instruments to ensure its governance — a term mentioned 20 times throughout the project and with an entire chapter dedicated to the subject, which demonstrates the concern about the exploitation of AI by companies and institutions.

Such care is essential to ensure transparency in decision-making processes and assign clear responsibilities in case of errors or negative consequences. As AI becomes more autonomous, questions arise about who should answer for wrong decisions or damage caused by autonomous systems. Assigning this legal and ethical responsibility is a challenge.

At the same time, another bill (21/2020) is being processed in the Chamber of Deputies as the first response to the wide spread of disinformation that was already taking over the country three years ago, damaging trust in the media and institutions. House Speaker Arthur Lira himself recently advocated tough legislation for the use of AI.

This level of advanced understanding of the complexity of the issue by the National Congress could put Brazil at the forefront of bringing ethics to the center of legislation on artificial intelligence within the Democratic Rule of Law.

Dealing with ethical boundaries is and has always been a challenge for humanity. AI should be seen as something that requires permanent attention, ensuring that its use involves governments, companies, researchers and society in general. Responsible implementation of artificial intelligence requires the creation of appropriate regulations, ethical standards and clear guidelines to ensure that the technology is used for the common good and benefit of humanity. The fear of doing something bad cannot be an impediment to everything we want to do well, but we must closely monitor what we do not understand and define the way forward.

This article is about Technology

Talk to us

Contact us and discover how we can help your company in the path to digital transformation.

manage cookies