At the Confluence of Harm, Power, and Humanity: Can the European Commission’s Draft Artificial Intelligence Act Inform Future Regulation in Aotearoa New Zealand
Artificial intelligence is a highly pervasive technology capable of delivering great benefit or detriment to society. The benefits of artificial intelligence are such that it is now inexorably linked with human progress, to the extent that humanity and artificial intelligence will only become further intertwined as time progresses. However, without proper understanding, and careful mitigation of the harms artificial intelligence presents its positive impact will be curtailed resulting in wide ranging harm on an individual, collective, and societal scale. It is this potential for harm which necessitates regulation. This thesis will first examine artificial intelligence and its harms, both of which will be further contextualised through the use of a Foucauldian lens. It will then examine to what extent the current regulatory landscape in Aotearoa New Zealand addresses these harms, what may be learned from the recent European Commission Draft Artificial Intelligence Act, and finally how the Draft Artificial Intelligence Act may inform the development of future artificial intelligence regulation in Aotearoa New Zealand. The Draft Artificial Intelligence Act could prove highly beneficial to Aotearoa New Zealand as its sparse regulatory landscape and colonial history make its populace particularly vulnerable to the harms of AI.