Commission partners with World Economic Forum on AI governance

27 February 2019

The Australian Human Rights Commission has partnered with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to explore models of governance and leadership in artificial intelligence in Australia.

The partnership builds on the work led by Human Rights Commissioner Edward Santow on human rights and technology, and focuses on the practical challenges of ensuring that governance of new technologies protects human rights and values. The Commission and WEF have co-authored a White Paper to guide a consultation asking whether Australia needs an organisation dedicated to promoting responsible innovation in AI. Mr Santow said,

The White Paper consultation process will bring together domestic and international experts to consider the challenge of AI governance and provide a practical, considered blueprint for a way forward.

The Human Rights and Technology Project, was launched by Commissioner Santow in 2018 with the aim to bring together civil society, industry experts and government to explore the human rights implications of digital media and technological innovations, such as AI.

In our first round of consultation, I asked whether Australia needs a better system of governance to harness the benefits of AI while protecting human rights. Early data analysis indicates the answer to this question is yes

Human Rights Commissioner Edward Santow said.

AI is changing our lives fundamentally, and this change will only increase. So, it is important we carefully consider how AI can best protect human rights, while ensuring Australia makes the most of the economic and other opportunities that AI brings.

Proposals for reform, that consider the outcomes of the White Paper consultation and the Human Rights and Technology Project’s Issues Paper, will be presented in a discussion paper later this year.

Written submissions in response to the White Paper are due by 5pm on 8 March 2019. Details of how to make a submission can be found here.

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