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It is possible to guarantee technological development in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and, at the same time, prevent abuses and protect rights. We cannot echo the fallacy that regulation stand in the way of innovation. On the contrary: it is through this regulatory debate that Brazilian society has the opportunity to move towards an ethical and sustainable technological progress that respects its historical and cultural particularities and does not accentuate structural inequalities.

In this context, the federal-level proposal of a mere letter of principles, as is the original text of Brazilian Bill n. 21/2020, appears as a false proposition, preventing the real regulation of AI systems and, also, not being enough to address this subject with quality. The aforementioned legislative proposal also does not create the legal certainty necessary for the development of commercial practices. The Brazilian problem is, in a certain sense, a similar problem in other countries.

In the local context, given this reasons, and after calls from civil society and experts, a Committee of Jurists was created at the Federal Senate to draft a new proposal to replace not only Bill n° 21/2020, but also Bills n° 5,051/2019 and 872/2021. The Commission’s final report, delivered in December 2022 and still pending approval, needs to be widely disseminated and deeply debated with society and all interested actors.

The mention of the Brazilian case is parallel to what has been happening in regulatory debates in other countries (we highlight the discussion and implementation of the European AI Act and AI Treaty and the dozens of initiatives in all continents, mapped by several multilateral organizations).

Discussions on technology regulation must take place through a broad, participatory and public debate. This requirement is essential to have a legislation that is minimally adequate and in line with good national and international legislative practices, as seen in the Brazilian experiences of the Civil Rights Framework for the Internet and the General Data Protection Law. Trampling the discussion is dangerous for society as a whole.

Despite improvements needed in the Commission’s proposal, the new draft is more consistent and concerned with balancing the protection of rights during the lifecycle of AI systems with the capacity for responsible technological innovation, in addition to addressing issues that the old text was not able to incorporate and which are central points of new guidelines on the subject.

Furthermore, it is important to have national regulations, which are not a mere importation of foreign initiatives. In the Brazilian context, to which this letter is addressed, good regulation needs to consider both a risk-based approach and a regulatory model based on rights, providing instruments for risk management and impact assessment, in addition to relevant principles for an adequate understanding and development of artificial intelligence.

The proposal presented by the Commission of Jurists is a wise step towards achieving this result. For this reason, it must be the new text to guide the debate on AI regulation in Brazil, which must contain mechanisms capable of effectively addressing issues such as ethnic and gender discrimination, economic and informational exclusion, as well as the many other issues that arise in a particular way in our territory.

In this sense, the Rights in Network Coalition (CDR) and the entities undersigned defend, based on national and international experiences, that the text of the Commission of Jurists be finally proposed in the Federal Senate so that it is the subject of debate by congressmen and open to multisectoral participation. They call for a participatory and responsible regulation of AI in Brazil, to serve as a global example, and make themselves available to contribute to this construction.

Brasilia, April 14, 2023

Rights in Network Coalition

Organizations that sign this open letter:

ANDA -Agência de Notícias de Direitos Animais
Aqualtune Lab
Associação Data Privacy Brasil de Pesquisa
Centro Popular de Direitos Humanos -CPDH
Coalizão Direitos na Rede
Coletivo Cronotopo
Coletivo Digital
Creative Commons Brasil
Idec – Instituto Brasileiro de Defesa do Consumidor
Instituto Aaron Swartz
Instituto Educadigital
Instituto de Pesquisa em Direito e Tecnologia do Recife – IP.rec
Instituto de Referência em Internet e Sociedade – IRIS
Instituto Sumaúma
Instituto Telecom
Instituto Vero
Intervozes- Coletivo Brasil de Comunicação Social
Laboratório de Políticas Públicas e Internet (LAPIN)
Rede Nacional de Combate à Desinformação

Individuals signing this open letter:

Alana Maria Passos Barreto
Alexandre Henrique Vieira Soares
Alice de Perdigão Lana
Ana Gabriela Ferreira
Ana Regina Rêgo
André Lucas Fernandes
Andre Luiz Pontin
Bianca Kremer
Carolina Assis Martins
Celso Eduardo Lins de Oliveira
Clarissa Mendes Gonçalves
Cris Guimarães Cirino da Silva
Cynthia Picolo
Evandro Souza
Gabriela Buarque
Janaina Spode
José Renato Laranjeira de Pereira
José Vargens
Kátia Chagas Lucio
Larissa Milhorance dos Santos
Luciano Silvestre
Luis Henrique de Menezes Acioly
Márcio Patusco Lana Lobo
Marcos Urupá
Marcus Vinicius Pereira
Maria do Carmo Duarte de Bittencourt
Nelma Souza Tavares
Nelson Pretto
Paulo Faltay
Paulo Rená da Silva Santarém
Pedro Amaral
Raquel Lima Saraiva
Renaud Leenhardt
Samantha Ribeiro de Oliveira
Tarcizio Silva
Tiago Ferreira Muniz
Victor Brito Ferraz
Victor Durigan
William Lima Rocha

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