Australian AI Standards Roadmap : ‘Making Australia’s Voice Heard’

On March 12th, 2020, Standards Australia, the Australian’s leading independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit standards organisation of Australia, published ‘Artificial Intelligence Standards Roadmap: Making Australia’s Voice Heard‘, a report commissioned by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

The report provides recommendations to help Australia effectively support Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its future across the globe.

This Roadmap, developed as a result of consultations with a broad cross-section of stakeholders, provides a framework for Australians to intervene and shape the development of standards for AI internationally. 

This roadmap is following the release of a Discussion Paper by Standards Australia in June 2019 which wishes to “provide an actionable set of Recommendations to ensure Australia’s interests in AI, ranging from safety and trust for citizens and consumers to opportunities for export by Australian businesses, are protected, promoted and enhanced’’.

The mains goals of this roadmap are threefold: 


  1. Increase Australian business’ international competitiveness in relation to responsible AI and streamline requirements in areas like privacy risk management.
  2. Ensure AI-related standards are developed in a way that takes into account diversity and inclusion, ensures fairness, and builds social trust.
  3. Grow Australia’s capacity to develop and share best practice in the design, deployment and evaluation of AI systems.

‘’When it comes to setting global standards, we’ve not been as involved as we could be. We cannot afford to leave it to others to set the standards that will shape our global economy. I’m determined for Australia will play a more active role in standards setting.”

Source: Quotation from the Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, the 3rd Oct. 2019, Sydney Town Hall, NSW. Quotation also mentioned in at the report in the introduction.

In order to make Australia fill the gap of this ‘AI-Regulatory race’, The report is divided into a number of key sections:

  • Section two provides an overview of the role standards can play in managing the development and adoption of AI, using examples from the digital economy.
  • Section three summarises International AI standards work underway within Standards Development Organisations (SDOs), specifically ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 42 Artificial Intelligence, and other multilateral commitments the Australian Government has made.
  • Section four outlines the ideas and feedback Australian stakeholders provided on AI Standards. This includes specific opportunities for Australia to play a leadership role in international SDOs, and the need to focus on specific issues, such as privacy and inclusion and fairness, and adopt a balanced approach in policy and regulation.
  • Section five and six conclude and provide clear and actionable recommendations on where Australia should focus on AI Standards work and who should have responsibility for their implementation.

“The clear and actionable recommendations in the report will support Australia to reach its full potential in the adoption and use of this technology.

(…) AI is an exciting technology with a growing future in the Australian and global market. Through standards, we believe we can help build confidence and safe-guard against the irresponsible use of this technology and its data’’.

Source: Quotation from the Chief Executive Officer of Standards Australia, Adrian O’Connell for Standards Australia.


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