CMDS Fellow Lina Dencik Co-Authors Paper on Social Rights in EU AI Policy Debates

October 14, 2021

Social rights occupy a marginal position in EU policy debates on emerging technologies, CMDS Fellow Lina Dencik and Jędrzej Niklas write in a new paper for the journal Internet Policy Review.

Analyzing the public consultation on the White Paper for AI Strategy as a case study for examining concerns and priorities amongst different stakeholder groups, the paper looks at the discourses of stakeholders in the policy debate surrounding artificial intelligence. It finds that social rights occupy a marginal position in this debate in favor of human rights issues. This is despite the growing recognition of the significance of social rights in addressing the impacts of AI advancements.

Yet the increased involvement of trade unions and some NGOs that have not traditionally been prominent in policy discussions on technology has meant that there is emerging, albeit limited, engagement with social rights concerns in the most recent consultation on the White Paper on AI Strategy, particularly in relation to transformations in work and in public administration, the authors write. This is important, they argue, because systems such as AI are playing an increasingly important role for questions of redistribution and economic inequality that relate to social rights.

The paper was published in a special issue of Internet Policy Review entitled Governing “European values” inside data flows, co-edited by our Fellows Kristina Irion and Stefania Milan, together with Mira Burri and Ans Kolk.