[Call for papers] Artificial intelligence: the new frontier of business and human rights

Published 19 May 2021


The Business and Human Rights Working Group of the Netherlands Network for Human Rights Research and the Asser Institute call for a submission of abstracts for an international Workshop on Artificial Intelligence: The New Frontier of Business and Human Rights. Deadline for submissions is 14 June, 2021. The workshop will be taking place 7 September, 2021 either in person or in hybrid format, depending on the situation regarding Covid-19.

The growing presence of AI-guided behaviour raises fundamental ethical and legal questions with regard to its effects on those who are subjected to it. These questions are increasingly expressed in human rights terms, with growing acceptance of using human rights law frameworks to tackle the negative effects of AI.

This event goes one step further by focusing on the human rights responsibility of private corporations that produce, sell and use AI technologies, as well as the responsibility of States in regulating private actors in order to safeguard human rights. Currently, AI businesses are keen to adopt codes of ethics and self-regulatory tools to show their willingness to act ethically. Yet, one may wonder whether these are effective in holding the companies accountable for the negative effects of their AI technologies. It is, therefore, essential that the human rights responsibility of businesses engaging in the production of AI is investigated sooner rather than later.

The conveners of the Workshop particularly invite the submission of abstracts on the following four themes:

  • Human rights as a legal check on AI
  • The translation of business and human rights discourse into practice
  • Embedding human rights compliance into AI products
  • Using AI tools in the framework of human rights due diligence processes

For a further elaboration, read the full call here.

Deadlines and requirements
We invite abstract submissions from both established and early-career researchers, including PhD students. Submitted abstracts should be no more than 500 words and should be accompanied by a short author biography (maximum 200 words).| All abstracts should be submitted to Dr Lottie Lane at c.l.lane@rug.nl before 14 June 2021 and will be assessed by the conveners of the workshop. A decision on acceptance of the abstract will be communicated by 2 July 2021. To facilitate discussion, authors of accepted abstracts are expected to submit an extended abstract of 2,000 words by 30 August 2021.

We plan to publish a select number of papers in either an edited volume or as a special issue in an international journal. Papers would be chosen based on academic excellence and originality and would go through a rigorous peer review process. Should you wish your paper to be considered for inclusion in these plans, please indicate this when submitting your abstract.

Additional information
Further information regarding the conference, including the programme and registration details, will be made available on the websites of the Business and Human Rights Working Group and the Asser Institute in due course.