Govt seeking feedback on the ethics of AI

Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

Govt seeking feedback on the ethics of AI

The Australian Government is seeking feedback to create guidelines that will ensure AI is developed and applied responsibly in Australia, following the release of the discussion paper ‘Artificial Intelligence: Australia’s Ethics Framework’.

Developed by CSIRO’s Data61, the paper is designed to encourage a conversation on how the nation develops and uses AI. It identifies key governance principles and measures that can be used to achieve the best possible results from AI, while keeping the wellbeing of Australians as the top priority.

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

“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,” Andrews said.

“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.”

CSIRO has welcomed the public discussion, with Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall saying we must ensure AI transforms industries and creates new jobs in the right way for Australia.

“As Australia’s national science agency, a focus on ethics, social licence to operate and clear national benefit have always determined how we apply science and technology to solve Australia’s greatest challenges,” Dr Marshall said.

“The draft framework contextualises these age-old ethical considerations in the light of new technology, so everyone can have a say in inventing the future we need so our children can keep pace with emerging technologies like AI.”

Adrian Turner, CEO at Data61, said AI will help Australia solve some of our biggest problems relating to energy, health, ageing, safety, security, climate and the environment.

“However, we will only realise this potential if we address underlying science and technology challenges in AI itself as well as its implications for people,” he said.

“Because of the deep influence AI will have on us all, we need to ensure that these systems work for us and deliver benefits individually and collectively.

“The AI ethics framework identifies principles and tools for achieving this in practice.”

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. This framework will be part of its broader approach to foster entrepreneurship and innovation, helping to create 1.25 million new jobs in the next five years.

To view the discussion paper and provide your feedback, click here. Consultation is open until 31 May.

Image credit: ©heywoody/Dollar Photo Club

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