Government acts to make a safer AI future


The federal government is making efforts to ensure the growth of artificial intelligence technologies (AI) in Australia is safe and responsible with today’s release of two discussion papers.

The papers are intended to begin a discussion to ensure appropriate safeguards are in place in relation critical AI technologies, according to Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic.

The Government’s Safe and Responsible AI in Australia Discussion Paper 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.

The National Science and Technology Council’s paper Rapid Response Report: Generative AI assesses potential risks and opportunities in relation to AI, providing a scientific basis for discussions about the way forward.

Husic said in a statement that while Australia already had some safeguards in place in relation to AI, it was appropriate that Australia consider whether these regulatory and governance mechanisms were fit for purpose.

Husic said: “Using AI safely and responsibly is a balancing act the whole world is grappling with at the moment.

“The upside is massive, whether it’s fighting superbugs with new AI-developed antibiotics or preventing online fraud.

“But as I have been saying for many years, there needs to be appropriate safeguards to ensure the safe and responsible use of AI.”

Husic said today’s discussion papers built on Labor’s commitment to the safe and responsible use of AI – including its action making Australia one of the first countries to adopt AI Ethics Principles.

He said the government had also invested $41 million in the most recent Budget for the responsible development of AI through the National AI Centre and a new Responsible AI Adopt programme for small and medium enterprises.

Husic said: “We’ve made a good start, thanks to the Government’s $41 million investment in AI for industry and our strong advocacy in this space.

“Today is about what we do next to build trust and public confidence in these critical technologies.”

Picture: Ed Husic

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