The Parliament of New South Wales holds inquiry into the use of AI

The parliament of New South Wales, Australia, is holding a wide ranging inquiry into the use of AI. There is a particular focus on

a) the current and future extent, nature and impact of AI in New South Wales

b) the social, economic and technical opportunities, risks and challenges presented by AI to the New South Wales community, government, economy and environment

c) current community and industry use of AI and the potential implications for delivery of government services

d) the current and future extent, nature and impact of AI on the New South Wales labour market including potential changes in:
i) earnings
ii) job security(iii) employment type
iv) employment status
v) working patterns
vi) skills and capabilities for the current and future workforce

e) the current and future extent, nature and impact of AI on social inclusion, equity, accessibility, cohesion and the disadvantaged

f) the current and future extent, nature and impact of AI on customer service and frontline service delivery in New South Wales

g) the current and future extent, nature and impact of AI on human rights and democratic institutions and processes in New South Wales

h) the effectiveness and enforcement of Commonwealth and New South Wales laws and regulations regarding AI

i) whether current laws regarding AI in New South Wales that regulate privacy, data security, surveillance, anti-discrimination, consumer, intellectual property and workplace protections, amongst others are fit for purpose

j) the effectiveness of the NSW Government’s policy response to AI including the Artificial Intelligence Strategy, Ethics Policy and Assurance Framework

k) the measures other jurisdictions, both international and domestic, are adopting in regard to the adaption to and regulation of AI

l) the successes and positive precedents experienced by other jurisdictions, both international and domestic, to better understand best practice

m) recommendations to manage the risks, seize the opportunities, and guide the potential use of AI by government, and

n) any other related matter.

The President of the Law Society, Brett McGrath submitted oral evidence to the Inquiry, emphasising the need for the NSW government to adopt a comprehensive approach to regulate the burgeoning artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

McGrath highlighted the importance of flexible, scalable, and principles-based regulation to leverage AI’s benefits while mitigating potential threats. He urges the NSW Parliament to build upon existing approaches and seek consistency with privacy, cybersecurity, consumer rights, and human rights laws.

McGrath suggested drawing upon findings from major AI reviews, including Australia’s consultation on AI use and regulations. He also recommends considering overseas efforts, such as the proposed Artificial Intelligence Act in the European Union and the ‘light touch’ approach in the United Kingdom, for comparison.

AI is a priority area for the Law Society in 2024 and has established an AI Taskforce to provide expert advice on its impact on legal practice and the justice system.

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