The Conference of INGO

 “The Civic Space, Democracy and Artificial Intelligence: how do they intersect?”

The conference commenced with Gerhard Ermischer, President of the Conference of INGOs, emphasizing the 75th anniversary of the Council of Europe and the potential benefits and dangers of Artificial Intelligence (AI). He underscored the need for collaboration between civil society and governments to implement democracy.

Geneviève Laloy moderated the conference, which focused on the Council of Europe's perspectives on AI. Irena Guidikova, Head of the Service of Democratic Institutions and Fundamental Freedoms, discussed the role of civil society in navigating the opportunities and challenges posed by AI. Motivational speeches by Marcis Liors Skadmanis and Tom Kin, founders of World NGO Day, discussed ten years of NGO activism and the role of AI in philanthropy, respectively. Francesca Fanucci, representative of the Conference of INGOs to the Committee on Artificial Intelligence, emphasized the role of citizens and NGOs in relation to human rights and AI.

Key points included concerns about AI regulation, risks of discrimination, and the need for NGOs to actively participate in the regulatory process. The positive impact of AI was acknowledged, but calls were made for strict controls, especially regarding disinformation and children's rights.

Questions and interventions from the audience highlighted the importance of AI education and the need for cautious use. The 10th anniversary of World NGO Day was celebrated, showcasing the association's evolution and raising awareness of AI dangers.

Francesca Fanucci emphasized the importance of civil society involvement, human rights experts, and engineers engaging in AI education and regulation. Frustration was expressed regarding the visibility and role of the Council of Europe in the face of AI challenges.

Overall, the conference highlighted the crucial role of civil society in shaping the discourse on AI, advocating for regulation, and ensuring that AI aligns with established human rights standards.