The Carr Center for Human Rights Policy serves as the hub of the Harvard Kennedy School’s research, teaching, and training in the human rights domain. The center embraces a dual mission: to educate students and the next generation of leaders from around the world in human rights policy and practice; and to convene and provide policy-relevant knowledge to international organizations, governments, policymakers, and businesses.

 

News and Announcements

JM_Barroso

Corruption in Brazil

January 31, 2019

In the latest episode of Justice Matters, Carr Center's Executive Director Sushma Raman interviews Carr Center Senior Fellow Luis Roberto Barroso on the intersection of human rights and corruption in Brazil.... Read more about Corruption in Brazil

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Latest Publications

We Can't Future-Proof Technology. But Here are 5 Ways to Forward Plan.

Citation:

Alexa Koenig and Sherif Elsayed-Ali. 1/5/2019. “We Can't Future-Proof Technology. But Here are 5 Ways to Forward Plan.” World Economic Forum . See full text.
We Can't Future-Proof Technology. But Here are 5 Ways to Forward Plan.

Abstract:

New article co-authored by Carr Center Technology and Human Rights Fellow Sherif Elsayed-Ali.

"We know that the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are drastically changing our world. This change is happening at a faster rate and greater scale than at any point in human history – and with that change come significant challenges to the ability of our public institutions and governments to adequately respond.

From the plough to vaccines to computers, technological innovations have generally made human societies more productive. Over time, people have figured out how to mitigate their negative aspects. For example, electrical applications are much safer to use now than in the early days of electrification. Though we came close to disaster, since the Second World War the international political system has managed to contain the threat of nuclear weapons for mass destruction.

However, the accelerating pace of change and the power of new technologies mean that negative unintended consequences will only become more frequent and more dangerous. What can we do today to help ensure that new technologies make life better, not worse?"

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/how-to-plan-for-technology-future-koenig-elsayed-ali/

: Sherif Elsayed-Ali et al. | Jan 5 2019
: With technological changes happening at a faster rate and greater scale than ever before, how can public institutions and governments keep up?
Last updated on 02/03/2020

Critical Skill for Nonprofits in the Digital Age: Technical Intuition

Critical Skill for Nonprofits in the Digital Age: Technical Intuition

Abstract:

Not everyone needs to become a tech expert, but all activists and nonprofit leaders must develop skills to inquire about, decide on, and demand technological change. Tech Fellow Alix Dunn talks to Stanford's Social Innovation Podcast. 

In a world where the pace of organizational learning is often slower than the pace of technological change, activists and nonprofit leaders must develop their “technical intuition.” Not everyone needs to become a tech expert, explains Alix Dunn, of the consulting firm Computer Says Maybe, but this ongoing process of imagining, inquiring about, deciding on, and demanding technological change is critical.

In this recording from the Stanford Social Innovation Review's 2019 Data on Purpose conference, Dunn walks through her guidelines to help anyone to develop these skills.

: Alix Dunn | May 7 2019
: Not everyone needs to become a tech expert, but all activists and nonprofit leaders must develop skills to inquire about, decide on, and demand technological change.
Last updated on 02/03/2020

The Future Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Humans and Human Rights

Citation:

Steven Livingston and Mathias Risse. 6/7/2019. “The Future Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Humans and Human Rights.” Ethics and International Affairs, 33, 2, Pp. 141-158. See full text.
The Future Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Humans and Human Rights

Abstract:

What are the implications of artificial intelligence (AI) on human rights in the next three decades?

Precise answers to this question are made difficult by the rapid rate of innovation in AI research and by the effects of human practices on the adaption of new technologies. Precise answers are also challenged by imprecise usages of the term “AI.” There are several types of research that all fall under this general term. We begin by clarifying what we mean by AI. Most of our attention is then focused on the implications of artificial general intelligence (AGI), which entail that an algorithm or group of algorithms will achieve something like superintelligence. While acknowledging that the feasibility of superintelligence is contested, we consider the moral and ethical implications of such a potential development. What do machines owe humans and what do humans owe superintelligent machines?

Read the full article here

: Mathias Risse et al. | Jun 7 2019
: What are the implications of artificial intelligence (AI) on human rights in the next three decades?
Last updated on 01/30/2020
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“The Carr Center is building a bridge between ideas on human rights and the practice on the ground. Right now we are at a critical juncture. The pace of technological change and the rise of authoritarian governments are both examples of serious challenges to the flourishing of individual rights. It’s crucial that Harvard and the Kennedy School continue to be a major influence in keeping human rights ideals alive. The Carr Center is a focal point for this important task.”

 

- Mathias Risse