Australia’s AI Action Plan – An Open Response

Australia’s AI Action Plan – An Open Response

To whom it may concern,

Thank you for providing to the people of Australia an opportunity to respond to key questions regarding Australia’s AI Strategy in the form of the AI Action Plan Consultation Paper. Although I foresee positive insights and views being provided by all those who contribute, and highly commend the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources for running this exercise, I would also like to bring additional insights to your attention.

As Australia, and the rest of the world, works to understand its role in a future with Artificial Intelligence, it is important that we understand the unique opportunities and challenges for our country as presented by this technology.

As a leader in the operationalisation of AI Ethics, I believe the truly diverse nature of our society demands that we build any principles for responsible use with representation of the views across that diversity. AI principles do not pose barriers to technical success, but act as guides to producing technology that brings the maximum benefit to our society and to humanity. Australia’s diversity is enviable: we have the opportunity to gain a vast spectrum of insights which could realise remarkable technology that would not arise from narrow views on social norms. I strongly recommend we bring to the table of international organisations our unique ability to represent the voices of diverse groups in assuring the best for the world from AI technology.

I also find it important to understand that, with AI technology, unless you have the skills to map understanding of local societal norms and expectations to the technology, you are obliged to accept the culture and norms of the data underlying the system. We cannot be a simple importer. The technology is a blend of the data and the algorithm. We cannot avoid the need for skilling our technology sector to a level where we are confident and perhaps even leading in some aspects of harnessing AI.

Finally, Australia is at a unique decision-point in its relationship with Artificial Intelligence and has an unprecedented opportunity – thanks to the communication technologies available – to make informed and intentional decisions.  With the maxim “it takes a village to raise a child” in mind, I strongly encourage the government to develop broader discussion and engagement, harnessing the voices across industry, academia, public organisations, but also our communities including those who are often underrepresented.

This letter, in keeping with my work on the subject, is provided in the spirit of helping Australia and humanity advance to a positive AI future.

Yours faithfully

Matthew Newman

Founder – TechInnocens

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