Alston Organizing Conference on Social Protection by Artificial Intelligence Decoding Human Rights in a Digital Age

CHRGJ Faculty Director and Chair Professor Philip Alston, in his capacity as UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, is co-organizing a conference with the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University on April 12, 2019. The conference is part of a consultation process for a report by the Special Rapporteur on social protection, digital technologies and human rights for the UN General Assembly, to be presented in the fall of 2019.

The conference focuses on the fact that governments around the world are increasingly investing in the development and use of Artificial Intelligence and other digital technologies to govern. As most modern states spend a significant proportion of their annual budget and GDP on social protection policies, it is not surprising that social protection systems are and will be at the forefront of digital innovation by governments given the political focus on cost-cutting and efficiency in many countries. Welfare bureaucracies are typically the part of the state apparatus with the most regular and extensive interaction with a significant part of the population, meaning that innovation in this area is likely to have a direct impact on the human rights of many. There has been surprisingly little systematic research of the human rights implications of technological change in the area of social protection. Yet, human rights are both relevant and important in the context of social protection systems, especially (although not exclusively) for those who are poor, vulnerable and subjected to discrimination.

Please find more information about the conference and how to register here:


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