Report sets a roadmap for AI in Australia

A new report from the Australian Council of Learned Academies outlined what Australia needs to successfully adopt artificial intelligence (AI).

The report highlights the need for a national strategy, a community awareness campaign, safe and accessible infrastructure, a responsive regulatory system, and a diverse and highly skilled workforce.

Co-chaired by Professors Toby Walsh and Neil Levy, the report sets a roadmap for how Australia can be part of one of the most disruptive technologies to emerge as part of the fourth industrial revolution.

In avoiding to identify specific applications where AI will be most useful or utilised, the report highlights how this technology will be incorporated in all sectors of the economy.

Writing as part of the launch of the report, member of the expert working group, Professor Anthony Elliot, noted that, “Schools, the vocational education and training (VET) sector and universities should encourage broad-based training and lifelong learning in AI development”.

With the future of AI depending upon finding the right balance between the challenges and opportunities of AI, such as technological transformation on the opportunities side and technological unemployment on the challenge side, Elliot noted the need for a cohesive response.

“What is now urgently needed, I think, is a national summit on AI – involving politicians, policymakers, business leaders and industry representatives and people from the broader community. This can help us consider how Australia might best fashion a common framework for the ethical development of AI, both in our country and internationally.”

In addition, Walsh noted that AI presents fundamental challenges for the way that humans interact with technology.

“With careful planning, AI offers great opportunities for Australia, provided we ensure that the use of the technology does not compromise our human values. As a nation, we should look to set the global example for the responsible adoption of AI,” said Walsh.