26 September 2023

Aussies called to shape AI regulation

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Australians are being called on to help ensure the growth of artificial intelligence technologies (AI) is safe and responsible.

Issuing the call, Federal Minister for Industry and Science, Ed Husic invited feedback on the Australian Department of Industry, Science and Resources’ Safe and Responsible AI in Australia discussion paper to ensure appropriate safeguards are in place in relation to the critical technologies.

Mr Husic said the discussion paper, open until 26 July, canvasses existing regulatory and governance responses in Australia and overseas, identifies potential gaps and proposes several options to strengthen the framework governing the safe and responsible use of AI.

“While Australia already has some safeguards in place in relation to AI, it’s appropriate that Australia consider whether these regulatory and governance mechanisms are fit for purpose,” Mr Husic said.

In its discussion paper, the Department said it was seeking views on what the Australian Government could do to support the safe and responsible use of AI.

It said this could be through voluntary approaches, like tools, frameworks and principles, and/or enforceable regulatory approaches, like laws and mandatory standards.

“From streaming recommendations to predicting bushfires, AI is already part of our lives,” the Department said.

“These technologies are getting more powerful and popular all the time, as shown by the impact of ChatGPT over the past six months,” it said.

“While new AI technologies can grow our economy and improve our lives, they may also have risks.

“Australians need to be able to trust that AI will be used ethically, safely and responsibly.”

The Department said the paper built on the recent Rapid Research Report on Generative AI report delivered by National Science and Technology Council.

The Department’s 41-page discussion paper can be accessed at this PS News link and the Council’s 29-page report at this link.

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