Ethical AI guidelines under construction

Friday, 05 April, 2019

Ethical AI guidelines under construction

The federal government is currently seeking feedback for the creation of guidelines to ensure that artificial intelligence (AI) is developed responsibly in Australia.

A discussion paper on Artificial Intelligence: Australia’s Ethics Framework, by CSIRO’s Data61, has been released and is designed to encourage a conversation on how the nation develops and uses AI.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said AI had the potential to increase productivity, create new industries and provide more inclusive services, creating jobs of the future.

“AI has the potential to provide real social, economic and environmental benefits — boosting Australia’s economic growth and making direct improvements to people’s everyday lives,” Andrews said.

“But importantly, we need to make sure people are heard about any ethical concerns they may have relating to AI in areas such as privacy, transparency, data security, accountability and equity.

“The impact of AI is likely to be widespread and we have an imperative to ensure the best possible outcomes; while the community needs to be able to trust that AI applications are safe, secure and reliable.”

The government is investing strategically to develop Australia’s domestic AI capability to create new jobs and open up economic opportunities, and has provided over $29.9 million in the 2018-19 Budget to grow this sector and support the responsible development of AI.

Another $70 million was also announced in the 2018–19 Budget to upgrade high-performance computing facilities, helping create the right environment for researchers to develop new technologies and algorithms.

These kinds of investments translate into real-world solutions for everyday Australians; from farmers who can make better informed agricultural decisions because of reliable land monitoring data, to potentially simplifying government payments with blockchain technology.

The government will use the paper’s findings and the feedback received during the consultation period to develop a national AI ethics framework, which will include a set of principles and practical measures that organisations and individuals can use as a guide to ensure their design, development and use of AI meets community expectations.

Consultation is open until 17 May and the discussion paper and details on how to provide feedback are available at:

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