Date: 
Thursday 4 October 2018

So far, more than 100 experts and community leaders have told the Commission what the rise of new technologies, like artificial intelligence, mean for our human rights.

The Human Rights & Technology Project is creating a reform framework to protect and promote our rights in this new era. It will focus on promoting innovation that enhances inclusion, while addressing the threat that new technology could exacerbate inequality and harm other rights.

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Since July, the Commission has been consulting on the Project’s Issues Paper, which explores challenges like ‘algorithmic bias’ and other risks associated with decision making that uses AI, as well as the opportunities presented by new accessible technology for people with disability.

Through submissions and roundtables, the Commission has heard from key representatives of civil society, academia, business, legal organisations, and government.

“We’ve heard moving stories about what new technology really means for our community. Stories like a person who is blind using a smartphone to ‘see’ the world around them,” Commissioner Santow said.

“There are also risks – some of which seriously threaten our human rights.

“There has been particular concern about the rising use of AI in decisions that affect our basic rights. Without proper controls, this can cause unintended harm, especially to already vulnerable and disadvantaged people.

“We thank those in industry, government, civil society and academia who have shared their views and concerns with us.”

Written submissions for this phase of the Project’s consultation closed on 2 October 2018. However, there are still opportunities to get involved in the project, which will culminate in the release of final recommendations in early 2020.

Roundtables are continuing across the country through October and November and a further consultation round is due to open in mid-2019 following the release of a discussion paper and proposals for reform.

For more information visit tech.humanrights.gov.au.