Recognizing the risks of artificial intelligence: Professor Céline Castets-Renard explores a comprehensive legal framework for AI in Canada

Faculty of Law - Civil Law Section
Artificial Intelligence

By Civil law

Communication, Faculty of law

Céline Castets-Renard avec texte informatique
Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a multi-billion dollar industry promising enormous social and economic benefits for people around the world. But while AI is certainly poised to generate innovative solutions to a broad range of complex human problems, it also comes with the potential for significant risks as structural biases and discrimination inherent in our society creep into AI algorithms. In the absence of effective human control, a flaw in an algorithm's complex decision-making process can have dramatic consequences for individuals and society.

Professor Céline Castets-Renard has earned an Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) for a four-year project entitled “Droit de l'intelligence artificielle au Canada : étude comparative avec l'Union européenne et les États-Unis” (Artificial intelligence law in Canada: A comparative study with the European Union and the United States”), which will focus on minimizing the risks of the widespread adoption of AI technology. The project will aim, primarily, to develop a legal framework for AI in Canada in order to better protect individuals and their rights.

To date, AI studies conducted in Canada mainly consider the adoption of ethical rules, which are insufficient to guarantee truly responsible AI. In terms of legal research, law-based solutions are often sectoral, such as those governing privacy, or those concerned with regulating specific technologies, such as drones. The approach to date has been, by and large, piecemeal. Professor Castets-Renard’s new project aims to rectify this scattered approach by conceptualizing a transversal AI legal framework that includes several branches of law, including data law, competition law, liability law and constitutional law. Her analysis will compare the situation in Canada with those of the European Union and the United States, gaining insights from these two important partners. Ultimately, the research aims to contribute to the advancement of public policy, equipping Canadian legislators with a law-based analytical framework to strengthen the pan-Canadian AI strategy.

SSHRC’s Insight Grants aim to support and foster excellence in social sciences and humanities research that aims to deepen, widen and increase our collective understanding of individuals and societies, as well as to inform the search for solutions to societal challenges.

Congratulations to Professor Castets-Renard!