United States and Australia: Partners on Joint Regional Responsible Use of AI Workshop

October 22, 2021 – U.S. Embassy Canberra

The U.S. State Department, the U.S. Embassy in Canberra, and the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy, and Resources co-hosted a regional workshop on the responsible use of AI on October 20-21 AEDT.

The event brought together a diverse group of academic experts, government leaders, and businesses from over 20 countries across the Indo-Pacific Region.

This workshop provided a unique opportunity for collaboration between developed and developing countries in discussing how responsible AI can contribute to pandemic recovery, job creation, environmental protection, and public health as part of an industry that could contribute more than $20 trillion to the global economy by 2030.

Dr. Tobias Feakin, the inaugural Australian Government-appointed Ambassador for Cyber Affairs and Critical Technology, underscored the importance of effective AI governance strategies in the region.  In his workshop address, he said “Australia is committed to working closely with partners to ensure the design, development and use of AI promotes, protects and upholds human rights and fundamental freedoms”.

Dr. Lynne Parker, Director of the U.S. National AI Initiative Office added that “the Biden-Harris Administration is committed to working with our international partners to advance democratic values and ensure that AI is used to lift all people up, solve problems, and foster a more equitable society”.

The workshop highlighted the diversity of applications for AI in industries ranging from smart cities to  advanced medical services, with presentations from the City of Darwin Office of Innovation Growth and Development Services and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists.

Governments, institutions, and multinational corporations also highlighted lessons learned in implementing responsible AI principles into daily practice, including the Government of New South Wales, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, Microsoft, The Brookings Institution, The University of New South Wales, BSA | The Software Alliance, and the Tech Council of Australia.

The workshop was jointly delivered by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy, and Resources and the U.S. Department of State following the 2020 biannual U.S.-Australia Joint Commission Meeting on Science and Technology (JCM), which identified several key priorities, including: cultivating trust and confidence in AI through ethical development; adopting new standards and regulatory frameworks; and maintaining both countries’ status as global AI hubs.

The event highlighted the Australian Government’s AI Action Plan and AI Ethics Framework, and the U.S. National Artificial Intelligence Initiative, which are intended to ensure continued leadership in AI research and development and responsible use.

For more information about international engagement on AI see: https://www.state.gov/artificial-intelligence