The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) are among 41 organisations calling on the EU to ban the use of artificial-intelligence (AI) predictive and profiling systems in law enforcement and criminal justice.
The European Commission last year launched plans for its first legal framework on AI, which included a proposal to ban uses of the technology that it sees as unacceptable.
In a statement, the civil-society organisations describe the proposed Artificial Intelligence Act as “a unique opportunity to ensure full fundamental rights protection for people affected by AI systems, and to prevent the use of AI to exacerbate structural power imbalances”.
The groups argue that the use of predictive and profiling AI systems in law enforcement “disproportionately targets” the most marginalised in society, infringes on liberty and fair-trial rights, and reinforces structural discrimination.
‘Risk and suspicion’
They say that AI systems are being increasingly used by authorities to profile people and areas, predict supposed future criminal behaviour or occurrence of crime, and assess the alleged ‘risk’ of offending or criminality in the future.
“These AI systems reproduce and reinforce discrimination on grounds including, but not limited to: racial and ethnic origin, socio-economic status, disability, migration status,” the statement adds.
The groups believe that the data used to create, train, and operate AI systems is “often reflective of historical, systemic, institutional and societal discrimination”.
They argue that, by their nature, these systems undermine the fundamental right to be presumed innocent, and shift attention away from criminal behaviour, towards “vague and discriminatory notions of risk and suspicion”.