Tech & Science : Government seeking to prevent Terminator robots with ethical artificial intelligence - - PressFrom - Australia
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Tech & Science Government seeking to prevent Terminator robots with ethical artificial intelligence

20:10  06 november  2019
20:10  06 november  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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Artificial intelligence should respect human rights, diversity and privacy — while being a far cry from Terminator-style robots — according to new federal ethics guidelines.

Technology Minister Karen Andrews will today release an eight-point guidance she wants companies to adopt in a bid to prevent people from being exploited.

The guidelines stipulate all AI should benefit individuals, society and the environment. It should prevent discrimination, respect privacy and only operate in accordance with their intended purpose.

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The guidelines also recommend human oversight of AI always be enabled and there should be timely processes to allow people to challenge the use or output of information.

"People do think of the Terminator when they think about artificial intelligence and robotics and those sorts of things," Ms Andrews said.

"But that's not what we should be doing with artificial intelligence. It [AI] is positive, it will help people in their daily lives."

Ms Andrews conceded that while AI would change jobs, she was adamant people shouldn't fear it putting them out of work.

She argued greater adoption of technology would give people opportunities to develop skills to better suit a future economy.

"It's important that we get the framework right for this because artificial intelligence can be quite scary to a lot of people," Ms Andrews said.

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"They seem to think it's robots taking over the world, robots taking their job, that machines are going to be making the decision for them."

The guidelines also urge companies to ensure people know when they are engaging with and being "significantly impacted by an AI system".

The list of principles comes after Ms Andrews released an AI discussion paper in April.

That paper was developed in conjunction with the CSIRO and designed to create an environment that would allow Australians to have greater trust in how AI was designed, developed and used by businesses and governments.

The Government received 130 submissions to the discussion paper and then brought together academics and the business community to develop the ethics guidelines.

Telstra, Microsoft, NAB, Commonwealth Bank and Flamingo AI have agreed to test the eight points to see if they can be implemented in the real world.

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Ms Andrews said she hoped companies that were already using AI would review the guidelines and assess if they needed to make changes.

"We want to make sure that we're setting it up for the future," Ms Andrews said.

"There might well be many companies that have relied on principles that have been developed elsewhere around the world. What we wanted to do as a Government was look at what we could develop that was really targeted [and] focused on Australian needs."

Given the guidelines are voluntary, there are no consequences for businesses that fail to develop ethical AI.

"At this point, I'm not looking at bringing out the big stick that obviously sits there as a possibility but that would be a long way off before we got to that point," Ms Andrews said.

"I think there is a strong willingness at the early stages of artificial intelligence for businesses wanting to get it right so this should prove the framework that they need."

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