AHRC publishes AI discussion paper

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Thursday, 19 December, 2019

AHRC publishes AI discussion paper

The Australian Human Rights Commission has published a new discussion paper detailing wide-ranging proposals for safeguarding human rights in the face of technological disruption.

The Human Rights and Technology discussion paper also includes suggestions aimed at encouraging accessible, equal and accountable use of emerging technologies such as AI.

Developed in consultation with experts and the community, the paper proposes real-world improvements in applying existing human rights and consumer protections to the development and use of new technologies.

Human Rights Commissioner Edward Santow said it is vital to uphold the principles of accountability and the rule of law more effectively in terms of how AI is developed and used.

“Emerging technologies can bring great societal benefits, but people are starting to realise their personal information can also be used against them,” he said.

“In the last year we’ve seen troubling examples of emerging technology being ‘beta tested’ on vulnerable members of our community, and we’ve seen AI used to make high-stakes decisions that have had serious human rights impacts on individuals both in Australia and overseas.”

Santow said the paper lays out a template for change in terms of how Australia develops and uses AI and new technologies.

Examples include a moratorium on the potentially harmful use of facial recognition technology in Australia, as well as the proposed introduction of an AI Safety Commissioner.

The paper proposes that in any cases where AI is used to make a significant decision, any affected individual should be able to access the information required to understand the basis of the decision and, if necessary, challenge it.

“As AI becomes central to everything from service delivery to health care, we’re inviting everyone to have their say on the proposals in this discussion paper. The decisions we make now will be critical in defining how we live in the immediate future,” Santow said.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Natalia

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