Advancing human rights in the age of AI and the digital society
Housed within the Human Rights Centre at Essex with partners worldwide, the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project considered the challenges and opportunities presented by big data and associated technology from a human rights perspective. The project commenced in October 2015 and concluded in March 2022. It was funded by a £5 million grant from the Economic and Social Research Council and £1 million from the University of Essex.
The digital age has brought about a global pattern shift in how we communicate, interact and organise our world. Everyday life generates colossal quantities of digital data. This data can be scrutinised by complex forms of analysis using algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI) and other digital tools.
This in turn yields highly personalised insights about ourselves, our habits, desires and our role in society. Our project explored the challenges and opportunities that big data and AI are bringing to human rights. We researched whether fundamental human rights concepts and approaches needed to be adapted in the era of technological advancement and big data.
We developed good practice guidelines, regulatory responses and solutions for the human rights sector to improve both enjoyment and protection in the digital age. Our key engagements fell mainly but not entirely into the categories: businesses, international human rights and humanitarian institutions and non-governmental human rights.
Follow us on Twitter