Government Urged for Decentralised Approach to AI Regulation, Emphasising Responsible Growth

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A submission to the Federal Department of Industry, Science, and Resources has called upon the Australian government to adopt a decentralised approach to regulating artificial intelligence (AI). 

In their joint submission, DLA Piper and Insurtech Australia emphasised the importance of conducting a thorough gap analysis of current legislative and regulatory frameworks to determine the necessity of additional regulations.

Insurtech Australia, a group comprising members deploying AI in insurance functions, expressed support for the responsible development and deployment of AI to serve insurance customers. However, the submission cautioned against the risk of over-regulation, which could impede innovation within the AI sector.

A “decentralised” sector-based approach was suggested to address AI use case risks in different industries. This approach is seen as a way to strike a balance between fostering innovation and maintaining appropriate regulation.

While existing laws covering privacy, consumer protection, and anti-discrimination may partially apply to AI, the unique nature of AI necessitates specific contemplation. The submission stressed the need to understand how current laws interact with AI and to manage potential risks for proper development.

DLA Piper’s senior associate and Australian AI Lead, Alex Horder, underlined the importance of not stifling AI innovation through overly rigid regulation. On the other hand, the submission acknowledged that a thorough understanding of existing laws is vital to ensure the responsible growth of AI technologies.

DLA Piper partner Dylan Burke highlighted the dual imperative of supporting innovation while managing risks. He emphasised balancing regulatory oversight with the need to foster AI-driven advancements.

“While existing laws on privacy, consumer protection, and anti-discrimination may apply to AI in some cases, AI is a unique beast, and it’s important that we review the existing frameworks to assess the need for specific contemplation of AI,” said Alex Horder, senior associate and Australian AI Lead at DLA Piper.The submission underscores the need for a careful, sector-specific approach to AI regulation that promotes responsible AI development, fosters innovation, and navigates the intricacies of existing legal frameworks. This approach will result in the reliable deployment of AI in Australia, enhancing trust and confidence in the technology.

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