New laws to curb high-risk AI

Mr Husic said AI is predicted to generate up to $600bn per year for Australia’s GDP by 2030. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

A new report has detailed the federal government’s plans to tackle the unprecedented risks posed by artificial intelligence.

Science and Industry Minister Ed Husic on Wednesday released an interim response to a national inquiry into the safe and responsible use of generative AI.

The 25-page document revealed plans to adopt a “risk-based” approach to mitigating potential threats, including creating new laws to govern the use of AI in high-risk settings such as law enforcement, healthcare and education.

Mr Husic said he wanted to strike a balance between reaping the benefits of innovation while also curbing potential threats to public safety.

“We recognise that artificial intelligence has helped us in many ways and is being used in low-risk environments, but there may be areas … where the public has concerns about how AI may operate,” Mr Husic said.

Industry Minister Ed Husic released the interim AI report on Wednesday. Picture: Martin Ollman / NCA NewsWire.

Under the government’s proposal, an advisory body will work with the government and industry experts to develop new laws and define what constitutes as a ‘high-risk’ system.

Mr Husic said new mandatory guidelines would help to promote transparency around how designers are setting up AI models and help to keep users accountable.

Currently, millions of people worldwide use artificial intelligence programs everyday. ChatGPT which is a powerful generative AI-powered chatbot recorded more than 1.7 billion visits in November, according to the latest data released by Open AI.

Between 25 and 46 per cent of jobs in Australia will be automated by AI in 2030. Picture: Marco Bertello/AFP.
Between 25 and 46 per cent of jobs in Australia will be automated by AI in 2030. Picture: Marco Bertello/AFP.

Experts have been calling for the government to regulate the rapidly evolving AI landscape and flagged the need for greater public investment towards the technology workforce.

Monash University AI expert Professor Geoff Webb said artificial intelligence had the potential to add “hundreds of billions of dollars” to Australia’s economy.

“By focusing on high-risk applications of the technology, the government has taken a sensible next step in what will be a long-term process as these technologies continue their breakneck pace of evolution,” he said.

“An important next focus will need to be education, both of the public so that they understand how to safely interact with the new technologies, and also of experts so that we can best deploy the technologies in the national interest.”