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Diario de Navarra
Professor of Constitutional Law. Professor of Communication Law
Does artificial intelligence have a corrector subject that prevents it from generating irreparable personal damage?
The scandal of the minors of Almendralejo, with their photomontages of faces of classmates on naked bodies, has been the news of these days. It was news that we knew would come. Unconscious minors, acting with that characteristic brutalization of some of them, when they are on group, with cell phones, access to apps and target of digital marketing porn (and not porn). The fact has many derivations, but I am going to stay in two, the first one, how can these behaviors be avoided, and a second one, does artificial intelligence has any corrector subject that prevents it from generating irreparable personal damage?
To use a cell phone, one must be of age, have the minimum maturity to use it with all its possibilities of access to worlds, messages, people -and interaction with them-, a basic knowledge of the rights of people and an attitude of respect for others. It is the "a" in the "abc" of digital literacy. An idea in which European and national laws abound on the subject. In the case of minors, the filter for the possession or non-possession of the coveted cell phone is set by the parents. And one of two things: either you don't buy the cell phone, or you make sure that the "a" in the "abc" goes well. Now, the photomontages of this subject have been made by some Spanish magazines and there are sentences in this regard; also judicial slaps have been handed out to authors of more or less offensive "memes".
The news sample an aspect of artificial intelligence that worries us. That anyone can use our image or our voice to make us say whatever they want, or make us appear in places, circumstances or situations in which we have not been. Although with such a semblance of truth that, as happened to one of the girls from Almendralejo, no matter how much she insisted to her parents that she had never been photographed like that, they did not believe her, seeing the images. And this possibility offered by artificial intelligence for the manipulation of our most personal features implies an enormous risk. I remember being amazed with the advertisement of Lola Flores from "Cruzcampo", a video montage made with thousands of images and audios, where the pharaoh came back to life to tell us not to use the American "empower" but the expressive Spanish "poderío"; and laughing at the fake Christmas message of the Queen of England, offered by Channel 4 Television, where Elizabeth made fun of family troubles, while climbing on her desk for a contouring. In these cases, artificial intelligence was under control, we can say. But when it is not, is there any defense subject when one's own voice or image is manipulated by others, for a purpose that we do not like, or even worse, to hurt us, through mockery or discredit? From another subject of personal data , usually managed with artificial intelligence, what can we do when our individual behaviors are subject to predictive calculation from patterns of age, Education, health, etc, by companies, banks, insurances, treasuries, police, to make decisions that concern us?
As pointed out years ago by the then so-called "European Personal data Supervisor" in his document Towards a new digital ethics: data personal, dignity and technology for the dignity of individuals to find a place in the digital environment, four elements need to be in place simultaneously: an adequate law, an effective control of digital platforms, a development of technical systems for the protection of privacy - image, voice, information staff-, plus a capacity for people to control their identity features, so that they can claim, demand, and if necessary successfully demand, the deletion of their voice, image and information data . These elements are in European societies, but still incipient, in fact, since November 2022 we have the European law on digital platforms, the "Digital Services Act", while last June was processed in the European Parliament what will be the first European law on Artificial Intelligence. There are still many steps to go, although I think that perhaps the most important is the "a" in the "abc" of digital literacy, understanding that whatever app I have, I must respect the person in front of me.