AI Rights vs Human Rights

20 March 2024 110
The age of artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the world’s ground-breaking developments, and powerful enough to transform and advance the entire world. However, the excitement of AI being an incredible tool must not overshadow the actual humans and their rights that must still be protected in the era of AI.  

The Constitution guarantees all persons several rights that are not disposed of by the introduction of AI, for example, the right to privacy remains one of the important rights contained in the Constitution and the use of AI must be clearly regulated so that its use does not contravene or compromise these rights of others.  In fact, this is how AI will be useful to humans if its use is to be limited to the exercise of human rights contained in our Constitution. 

According to the Constitution, everyone has the right to choose their trade, occupation or profession freely. However, one cannot help but wonder as to how such a right can be fully protected with the introduction of AI under circumstances where AI can fully perform, and sometimes even better, in the same occupation or profession as a human being. This will most likely render humans redundant in such professions. Will this entail that there are certain professions or occupations that will not be done by humans anymore because AI is more resourceful, faster and cost-effective?  If so, then our problems of unequal access to opportunities will be exacerbated. 

As matters stand, there are a few cases that have been reported where lawyers used exclusively ChatGPT during their heads of argument. Though the content sourced by ChatGPT turned out not to be accurate, it is clear that such AI, once improved, has the potential to take over such aspects completely from human beings, thus impacting the rights otherwise guaranteed.
The right to equality may also conflict with AI because considering the current economic state of our country, it may not be possible for AI to be made available to every member of society which means that AI may have the potential to create an even further divide between the rich and the poor especially when it comes to education and employment, and even essential services.
On the other hand, if proper laws can be put in place for the monitoring and protection of human rights, AI may be a useful tool that may result in more productivity for businesses, equal access to employment, and efficient access to the legal system.
It will be interesting to see how all these competing and sometimes conflicting interests will be balanced to ensure that AI works for the advancement of our country and its citizens, instead of against it. Many people’s views seem to be that AI ought to be used to enhance the activities already performed by human beings rather than to completely replace the human aspect that ought to come with every task.
One way or another, it is apparent that AI will, to some extent, interfere with human rights but it is still too early to tell to what extent this impact will have and whether any amendment to our existing laws will have to be considered to accommodate the world of AI.  Only time will tell.

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