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Conferences & lectures

AI and Human Rights Forum

Date & time
Tuesday, April 20, 2021 –
Thursday, April 22, 2021
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Registration is closed




This event is free


Marie Lamensch



In 2019, the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies at Concordia University launched the Human Rights and Artificial Intelligence Forum. The event convened thought leaders, officials and experts in technology and human rights to discuss the implications of new technology for global affairs.

In 2021, MIGS is scaling up the event in collaboration with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Mitacs, under the patronage of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. This year's virtual Forum will bring together NGOs, tech companies, foundations and governments around the globe that understand the need to collaborate on the future of AI and human rights.

Panel discussions will cover such topics as disinformation in public health, elections, online hate, ethics, AI governance, the United Nations and global cooperation. The forum will serve as an incubator for forming new partnerships between academics, civil society, the United Nations and the private sector.

The event will take place over three days and will feature keynote addresses and panel discussions from leading global experts working at the intersection of AI and human rights. Some of the topics that will be discussed include :

  1. Internet governance and AI: ensuring space for human rights
  2. AI and freedom of expression
  3. Misinformation and AI: friends or foes?
  4. From surveillance to digital authoritarianism: breaking down tech and human rights silos
  5. AI and the UN's sustainable development goals
  6. The ethics of AI: how can we ensure democratic governance?

Confirmed speakers

More speakers will be announced soon.

  • Irene Khan, UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression
  • Eileen Donahoe, executive director of the Global Digital Policy Incubator (GDPI) at Stanford University, FSI/Cyber Policy Center
  • Ines Coppoolse, ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Canada
  • The Honorable Teresa Ribeiro, OSCE Representative on the Freedom of the Media
  • Marietje Schaake, international policy director at the Cyber Policy Center and international policy fellow at the Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, Stanford Cyber Policy Center
  • Representative of Digital Innovation and Transformation, UNESCO
  • Jan Kleijssen, Council of Europe
  • Laurence Devillers, professor of artificial intelligence and ethics at Paris-Sorbonne University and LIMSI-CNRS
  • Taylor Owen, Beaverbrook chair in Media, Ethics and Communications and associate professor in the Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill University, senior fellow at the Center for International Governance Innovation (CIGI)
  • Joan Donovan, research director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy
  • Carly Kind, executive director, Ada Lovelace Institute
  • Ronald Diebert, professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs and in the Department of Political Science, and director of the Citizen Lab
  • Camille Fran├žois, Graphika
  • Valentine Goddard, founder and executive director of AI Impact Alliance
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