AICD Submission on Safe and Responsible AI in Australia

Thursday, 27 July 2023

On 26 July 2023, the AICD provided a submission to the Department of Industry, Science and Resources (DISR) discussion paper on safe and responsible AI.

The AICD recognises the importance of timely adoption of AI in Australia to remain competitive in the global market and boost national productivity and economic growth. We have previously engaged extensively on Government consultations and proposed reforms in related areas including data management and cyber security policy, including the Parliament’s inquiry on the Influence of international digital platforms, the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) and strengthening Australia’s cyber security regulation and incentives.

Our submission welcomes consultation on developing a fit-for-purpose regulatory approach in Australia, that strikes a balance between affording protection from new and emerging AI risks and harms whilst also fostering innovation through providing regulatory certainty for Australian businesses. The key points of our submission included:

  • In our view, Australia has an existing legislative framework which provides regulatory oversight of AI development and use, which should be reviewed and updated before considering the introduction of a new AI specific laws. In particular, more work needs to be done to raise awareness and provide guidance on the existing obligations (such as around privacy and data protection) and how they apply in the AI context.
  • The AICD recognises the importance of Australia closely monitoring international regulatory developments including in Europe, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, amongst other nations. Broad regulatory alignment with key overseas markets is important for us to remain competitive with international markets and facilitate interoperability with our trading partners and to mitigate any comparative regulatory lag. Following a review of our existing framework, if legislative gaps necessitate the adoption of a new regulatory approach, this should be informed by evidence-based recommendations.
  • The AICD recognises good AI governance that is robust yet flexible to changing innovation extends beyond legislation and regulatory frameworks. Other mechanisms such as domestic and global standards and industry codes, with appropriate oversight, also serve an important function in supplementing and/or complementing existing laws. On an organisational-level, the AICD is focused on promoting the importance of responsible and informed AI.

You can read a copy of our submission here.

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