Senate Select Committee's Inquiry into AI opportunities and impacts

Friday, 17 May 2024

On 17 May 2024, the AICD made a submission to the Senate Select Committee’s Inquiry into the opportunities and impacts for Australia arising out of the uptake of AI technologies.

The AICD’s key points were:

  • The AICD recognises the significant opportunities of artificial intelligence (AI) and the need to incentivise the development and use of AI to remain competitive in the global market and boost national productivity. However, AI's far-reaching impact and the presence of unique risks require careful management.
  • Addressing regulatory uncertainty: Existing laws should be reviewed to ensure they appropriately address the unique characteristics of AI systems. If necessary, AI-specific legislation should be proportionate, effective and risk-based, such that high-risk AI uses are heavily scrutinised whilst low-risk AI uses are not subject to unnecessary regulation. Safe and responsible AI governance should continue to be implemented at both the AI-user and AI- developer level.
  • Ensuring a balanced approach to data access and governance: The reliance of AI on data highlights the importance of a robust regulatory framework which proportionally regulates the collection and use of personal information within AI systems. A comprehensive economy-wide national data strategy, as recommended by the Productivity Commission, may be needed to ensure a holistic approach to data governance is taken.  The interplay between intellectual property law and AI (particularly for AI training purposes) should also be carefully considered.
  • Uplifting AI capability and competency: AI skills and competency, including amongst directors, remains highly varied.  The Government should consider designing and implementing a strategy for the development of AI skills and capability domestically, as well as attracting overseas AI talent to address relevant gaps and to assist in the domestic uplift. The AICD is committed to lifting awareness, education and competency of directors on AI governance, and is partnering with the Human Technology Institute (HTI) to issue guidance in June 2024.

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