These concerns, coupled with the benefits, have fuelled the dichotomous nature of the AI narrative – one where our future is either a utopia or a dystopia. In response to this, there is a growing global movement of AI for Good, with innovators and stakeholders engaging on strategies to ensure that AI is developed “in a trusted, safe and inclusive manner, with equitable access to their benefits.” Although no states have passed legislation that expressly regulates AI comprehensively, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has recently released a draft recommendation on the ethics of artificial intelligence, which is expected to be adopted in November 2021.18

This discussion document examines the implications that AI has on the triad of information rights: the right to freedom of expression, the right to access information and the right to privacy. These rights are often excluded from the AI discourse despite the significant impact AI has had on their enjoyment. In so doing, we unpack what AI is and briefly outline its implications on these rights. We look briefly at the implication that AI has on the media industry, and conclude by providing some key recommendations.

Society is still grappling with an appropriate response to AI and in this sense, we too are still machine learning. We hope through this discussion document to contribute to the growing debate around AI to inform a response which is grounded in human rights.

MMA would like to thank Taliesin Beynon, a mathematician and software developer, who generously gave his time to contribute to this report and whose input has been invaluable, and to Kwazi Nwana from ALT Advisory for the report design.


Click here to read: The implications of Artificial Intelligence on Information Rights


For more information contact:

William Bird 011 788 1278