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Australia’s chief scientists calls for AI regulatory framework; ACCC keeping tabs

Australia's chief scientist, Alan Finkel, has called on governments and businesses across the world to consider developing a regulatory framework for artificial intelligence devices, ranging from the likes of Apple's Siri to weaponised drones, reports the Australian Financial Review. Finkel, speaking at the Creative Innovation Global conference, said he was optimistic about AI, but an ethical stamp needed to be developed, similar to a fair trade label, in order to give consumers trust that the AI in a device had been developed according to specified global standards. “Two years ago I published an article in Cosmos magazine calling for a global accord [on weaponised drones]. In the same year, more than 3,000 AI and robotics researchers signed an open letter urging the leaders of the world to take action to prevent a global arms race,” he said. “On the other end of the spectrum are tools in everyday use, such as social media platforms and smartphones. There are difficult to regulate by UN Convention. Here we might look instead for tools that empower us as consumers and citizens to make responsible choices. I can imagine an ethical AI stamp – call it the Asimov, in honour of the Isaac Asimov who gave us the three Robot Laws.” The Asimov stamp, Finkel said, would be “woefully inadequate” in the case of something like weaponised drones, but it needed to be part of a continuum of regulation from smartphones upwards, in order to ensure AI devices were adequately trained and controlled. Meanwhile the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is on the lookout for anti-competitive algorithms and “e-collusion” and will keep tabs on online platforms to ensure they don't abuse their market power by deploying “bots” to exploit prices, the Australian Financial Review also reports. “The competition regulator has a new data analytics unit and ACCC chair Rod Sims said changes to the competition laws will make it easier to show digital businesses have engaged in a substantial lessening of competition. “The ACCC is considering cases where algorithms are deployed as a tool to facilitate conduct which may contravene Australian competition law,” Sims told an event on artificial intelligence. See more  and here

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