The NSW Government will bring together key stakeholders in November in an effort to further develop an AI ethics framework and strategy for the state. 

A thought leadership summit, to be held at NSW Parliament, will explore how the technology can be best used by government agencies and in policy making.

Minister for customer service, Victor Dominello, announced the inaugural summit, saying it will bring together representatives from academia, industry, government and science. Specific participants have not yet been announced.

“AI has the potential to transform service delivery and make life easier for people, and this summit is an opportunity to learn from some of the country’s top experts,” Dominello said in a statement.

“This summit will identify next steps for the use of AI in NSW, and test the NSW AI ethics framework and AI Strategy, both of which are being developed.”

Dominello said AI is already being used by to manage the NSW train fleet, predict bushfires, and predict water pipe failure. But he wants a clearer state strategy to help protect privacy and prevent misuse.

In its latest budget the NSW coalition government earmarked $100 million dollars in seed funding for a “whole-of-government digital transformation that will enhance customer experiences” amid large scale public sector cuts.

Australia’s AI strategy

At the national level, Australia has signed on to a non-binding set of global principles for developing ethical AI. The CSIRO is also developing Australia’s own AI ethics framework, following public consultation this year.

But in a landmark report released last month Australia’s top scientists and academics warned the country still lacks the regulatory framework and an effective national strategy necessary for the responsible development and use of AI, which is advancing at a rapid rate.

“What kind of society do we want to be?” asked Australia’s chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel at the report launch, “That is the crucial question for all Australians, and for governments as our elected representatives.”

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