TU Wien Informatics

Artificial Intelligence and Democratic Values: What is the Path Forward?

  • 2021-11-09
  • Public Lecture
  • Social Responsibility

Marc Rotenberg talks about how effectively new policy frameworks address AI-related challenges in the areas of human rights and democratic values.

Artificial Intelligence and Democratic Values: What is the Path Forward?

  • This is an online-only event.
    See description for details.
  • Speaker: Marc Rotenberg, Center for AI and Digital Policy, USA
  • Moderator: Paul Timmers, Oxford University, UK and European University, Cyprus


Countries and international organizations are moving quickly to adopt AI strategies. More than fifty nations have signed on to the OECD AI Principles or the G20 AI Guidelines. The EU is developing a comprehensive regulation for AI, and UNESCO is about to adopt an AI Ethics Recommendation. Many of these policy frameworks share similar objectives – that AI should be “human-centric” and “trustworthy,” that AI systems should ensure fairness, accountability, and transparency.

Looming in the background of this policy debate is the deployment of AI techniques, such as facial surveillance and social scoring, that implicate human rights and democratic values. Therefore we should ask how effectively do these policy frameworks address these new challenges? What are the differences between a country endorsing a policy framework and implementing a policy framework? Will countries be able to enforce actual prohibitions or “red lines” on certain deployments? And how do we assess a country’s national AI strategy with democratic values?

These questions arise in the context of the CAIDP Report “Artificial Intelligence and Democratic Values,” a comprehensive review of AI policies and practices in 30 countries.

About Marc Rotenberg

Marc Rotenberg is President and Founder of the Center for AI and Digital Policy. He is a leading expert in data protection, open government, and AI policy. He has served on many international advisory panels for digital policy, including the OECD AI Group of Experts. Marc helped draft the Universal Guidelines for AI, a widely endorsed human rights framework for the regulation of Artificial Intelligence. Marc is the author of several textbooks including the 2020 AI Policy Sourcebook and Privacy and Society (West Academic 2016). He teaches privacy law and the GDPR at Georgetown Law. Marc has spoken frequently before the US Congress, the European Parliament, the OECD, UNESCO, judicial conferences, and international organizations. Marc has directed international comparative law studies on Privacy and Human Rights, Cryptography and Liberty, and Artificial Intelligence and Democratic Values. Marc is a graduate of Harvard College, Stanford Law School, and Georgetown Law.

About Paul Timmers

Paul Timmers is research associate at the University of Oxford (Oxford Internet Institute), professor at European University Cyprus and co-founder of the cybersecurity expertise centre Cyber.Cerides. He is also a visiting professor at Rijeka University, senior advisor to EPC Brussels, board member of Digital Enlightenment Forum and supervisory board member of the Estonian eGovernance Academy. He has been Director at the European Commission dealing with EU legislation and funding for cybersecurity, e-ID, digital privacy, digital health, smart cities, e-government. He was also cabinet member of European Commissioner Liikanen and until recently advisor to the European Commission, DG SANTE on digital health. He worked as manager in a large ICT company and co-founded an ICT start-up. Paul holds a physics PhD from Nijmegen University, MBA from Warwick University, was awarded an EU fellowship at UNC Chapel Hill, and obtained cybersecurity qualification at Harvard.

Online Event

We are looking forward to seeing you:

  • Participate via Zoom (meeting: 9638 9928 143, password 0dzqxqiy).
  • The talk will also be live streamed and recorded on our YouTube Channel.
  • For further announcements and information, please visit the DIGHUM Website, which also provides slides and recordings of all our past events.

The DIGHUM Lecture Series

Digital Humanism deals with the complex relationship between man and machine. It acknowledges the potential of Informatics and IT. At the same time, it points to related apparent threats such as privacy violations, ethical concerns with AI, automation, and loss of jobs, and the ongoing monopolization on the Web. The Corona crisis has shown these two faces of the accelerated digitalization—we are in a crucial moment in time.

For this reason, we started the DIGHUM Lecture Series, a new initiative with regular online events to discuss the different aspects of Digital Humanism. We will have a speaker on a specific topic (30 minutes) followed by a discussion of 30 minutes every second Tuesday of each month at 5:00 PM CEST. This crisis seriously affects our mobility, but it also offers the possibility to participate in events from all over the world—let’s take this chance to meet virtually.

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