Australia signs the Bletchley Declaration at AI Safety Summit

Australia has today put its name to new global initiatives to encourage the safe, ethical and responsible development of artificial intelligence (AI). 

Australia, alongside the EU and 27 countries, including the US, UK and China, signed the Bletchley Declaration affirming that AI should be designed, developed, deployed, and used in a manner that is safe, human-centric, trustworthy and responsible.

The declaration signals our commitment to work with the international community to ensure AI is developed with the right guardrails in place. 

It was signed at the AI Safety Summit hosted by the United Kingdom Government this week. 

Deputy Prime Minister, Richard Marles, and Minister for Industry and Science, Ed Husic represented Australia at the Summit which brought together governments, leading AI companies, civil society groups and academics to consider the risks of AI, especially at the frontier of development, and discuss how they can be mitigated through more coordinated international action.

Australia, together with other governments and companies developing AI systems, has also recognised the importance of collaborating on testing the next generation of AI models against a range of critical national security, safety, and societal risks. 

To support this, the UK is establishing an AI Safety Institute, staffed by researchers, machine learning specialists and engineers. 

The Institute will evaluate AI models under development by leading companies. Australia will work with this institute to share expertise, knowledge and learnings. 

Countries also agreed to an annual Frontier AI State of the Science report, summarising the latest international research on AI safety. This will give an accurate and credible annual snapshot on AI developments. CSIRO Chief Scientist Bronwyn Fox will represent Australia on the panel overseeing the report. 

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Quotes attributable to the Hon. Ed Husic, Minister for Industry and Science:

“We are all clear on the immense potential for AI to do a lot of good in the world. It can drive huge growth in our productivity, help us to better predict bushfires and support better diagnosis and early detection of disease. 

“But there are real and understandable concerns with how this technology could impact our world. 

“We need to act now to make sure safety and ethics are in-built. Not a bolt-on feature down the track.

“We are proud to stand alongside other countries in pushing for new developments in AI to be done responsibly.”