Open Letter | Artificial Intelligence Regulation: a cross-cutting issue that requires multistakeholder and interdisciplinary debate
Senate Jurists Committee is welcome but lacks diversity.
How can it help to foster this debate in the country?
Excellency Mr. President Rodrigo Pacheco:
Excellency Mr. Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Ricardo Villas Bôas Cueva:
Excellency Mr. Rapporteur of the Bill, Sen. Eduardo Gomes:
The undersigned entities, members of the Rights in the Network Coalition (Coalizão Direitos na Rede, CDR) – a collective that brings together 51 civil society entities and academic organizations that work in the defence of digital rights in Brazil -, welcome the creation, by the Federal Senate, of the Commission of Jurists to propose a replacement for Bills 5.051/2019, 21/2020 and 872/2021, related to the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) in Brazil. AI is a topic that affects the whole of society in multiple facets, and the debate on its regulation must take place with due time, care and participation.
The Commission of Jurists will be an important arena for the debate on the complexity of artificial intelligence regulation in Brazil, and as such the undersigned organisations see it as an important step to expand this discussion. However, the Rights in the Network Coalition publicly expresses its concern with the final composition of this Commission in terms of the representativeness of its members.
The task delegated by the Federal Senate to the Commission is extremely challenging. More and more jurisdictions recognize how artificial intelligence technologies can strengthen or create forms of discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, social class and ideology, to name a few. For this reason, legal systems around the world have debated ways to regulate artificial intelligence systems because of the risks that this technology presents to society, especially to historically vulnerable groups.
For this reason, a bill that seeks to provide adequate regulatory responses must encompass views that address the particularities of the groups most affected by AI technologies. This necessarily involves the inclusion of representatives of these groups in the process of designing the future law. However, the Commission created is not only marked by the absence of black or indigenous jurists, but it also does not take into account regional representation or the representation of interests affected by applications involving AI.
It is also important to remember that the topic under discussion is not reduced to the aspect of data governance, despite this being one of its facets. Algorithmic opacity, discrimination and the delimitation of risk levels for different AI applications are examples of topics whose understanding goes beyond strictly legal knowledge, and which demand interdisciplinary approaches that should involve computer scientists, philosophers, social scientists and experts from other fields.
Considering that the Commission is already established, the development of its work must take into account the plurality of interests affected by the topic, building a platform for debate and deliberation that reflects the social, political, and economic mosaic that marks our territory. Invariably, it is necessary to include persons of colour and from indigenous communities in the debate, as well as to guarantee regional representation and participation of groups that combat discrimination against minorities in the field of artificial intelligence.
Addressing the suggestions mentioned below will represent the Federal Senate’s commitment to mitigating injustices arising from the application of AI applications alien to ethical and legal values.
Finally, the construction of such regulation must take into account the Brazilian multistakeholder tradition when debating themes related to other technology regulations, such as what happened in the Civil Rights Framework for the Internet, when several specialists from different areas of knowledge were heard.
We therefore request:
1. To the Presidency: that new members be honored and appointed to the aforementioned Commission, with jurists who meet the criteria of notorious technical and interdisciplinary knowledge and representativeness of the groups mentioned here, which includes attention to gender, regional, racial and ethnic parity;
2. To the members of the Commission:
Consideration should be given to the issues raised in this and other manifestations of the CDR, with the implementation of measures to increase the level of participation such as the creation of thematic committees of specialists, public hearings – with professionals from different areas, regions, with gender and race parity and who discuss artificial intelligence and its problems;
Thematic groups are created to ensure the participation of specialists from other areas of knowledge and who have a deep understanding of technical aspects and social impacts involving AI systems;
Public hearings are convened to allow multisectoral, interdisciplinary and representative participation of the different groups affected by this topic.
Based on the above, the entities subscribed here, as members of the collective Coalizão Direitos na Rede, are available to dialogue with this House and this Commission in order to guarantee the elaboration of a representative and rights-promoting norm.
Brasilia, February 23, 2022.
Organizations that sign this letter:
Coalizão Direitos na Rede
Ação Educativa – Assessoria, Pesquisa e Informação
Amarc Brasil – Associação Mundial de Rádios Comunitárias
ANPED – Associação Nacional de Pós-Graduação e Pesquisa em Educação
AqualtuneLab – Cruzando o Atlântico
ASL – Associação Software Livre
Associação Brasileira de Pesquisadores e Profissionais em Educomunicação – ABPEducom
Associação Data Privacy Brasil de Pesquisa
Casa da Cultura Digital de Porto Alegre
Centro de Estudos da Mídia Alternativa Barão de Itararé
Centro de Pesquisa em Comunicação e Trabalho – CPCT-ECA/USP
Ciranda da Comunicação Compartilhada
Colaboratório de Desenvolvimento e Participação - COLAB-USP
Coolab – Laboratório Cooperativista de Tecnologias Comunitárias
Creative Commons Brasil
DR.IA Laboratório de Pesquisa
Fórum Nacional pela Democratização da Comunicação – FNDC
Garoa Hacker Clube
Grupo de Pesquisa em Políticas Públicas para o Acesso a Informação/GPoPAI da USP
Idec - Instituto Brasileiro de Defesa do Consumidor
Instituto Bem-Estar Brasil
Instituto Beta: Internet & Democracia
Instituto de Pesquisa em Direito e Tecnologia do Recife – IP.rec
Instituto de Referência em Internet e Sociedade – IRIS
Instituto Observatório do Direito Autoral – IODA
Internet Sem Fronteiras Brasil
InternetLab – Centro de pesquisa em direito e tecnologia
Intervozes - Coletivo Brasil de Comunicação Social
ITS-Rio - Instituto de Tecnologia e Sociedade do Rio de Janeiro
LAPCOM – UnB – Laboratório de Políticas de Comunicação da UnB
LAPIN – Laboratório de Pesquisa em Políticas Públicas e Internet
LAVITS - Rede latina-americana de estudos sobre vigilância, tecnologia e Sociedade
NUREP – Núcleo de Pesquisas em Direitos Fundamentais, Relações Privadas e Políticas Públicas
Observatório da Ética Jornalística – objETHOS
Open Knowledge Brasil
Projeto Saúde e Alegria
PROTESTE - Associação de Consumidores
Wiki Movimento Brasil