Proponents of the use of artificial intelligence (AI) could be frustrated by a recent call made in Ontario, by that province’s Information and Privacy Commission of Ontario (IPC) and the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC), to encourage governments to develop “granular” rules governing the use of AI in the province.

The two entities say their complementary mandates include protecting and advancing human rights, including the right to privacy. “Accordingly, the IPC and the OHRC announce their collaboration to provide Ontarians with a better understanding of their privacy rights concerning AI technologies,” they state. “It is urgent for the government to establish a binding set of robust and granular rules for public sector use of AI technologies.” 

They add that AI has great potential to benefit society, but add that it has also been shown to be unsafe when not governed. AI, they say, often relies on immense volumes of personal information. “Even where information has been de-identified, AI technologies can perpetuate biases and lead to disparate impacts on Ontarians.” The statement further calls out decision making processes that are opaque or difficult to understand and the possibility that AI will create flawed or inaccurate content, along with the lack of accountability for its use. 

“Jurisdictions worldwide are working to effectively regulate the responsible use of AI technologies,” they state. “Ontario must develop its own framework.”