High profile Australian business and technology leaders Genevieve Bell and David Thodey are backing a push to create a new organisation to lead the development of an ethical framework for artificial intelligence. In an open letter to be released on Friday, Ms Bell and Mr Thodey say there are significant challenges that need to be addressed as AI becomes more commonplace, be it the further entrenchment of discrimination on the basis of gender or "minority status", creating "ethical algorithms for autonomous vehicles, bias in AI-powered hiring processes" or "the impact of fake news bots". They are joined by other notable industry figures such as H2 Ventures founding partner Toby Heap, Fujitsu Australia chief executive Mike Foster and KPMG Innovate national leader James Mabbott as being signatories to the open letter. Genevieve Bell is one of the leaders pushing for an AI body. Mr Mabbott said while the opportunities and benefits of AI were unprecedented, there were very real community concerns about how AI is adopted, relating to privacy, sustainability and quality of life.
There is mounting public concern over the influence that AI based systems has in our society. Coalitions in all sectors are acting worldwide to resist hamful applications of AI. From indigenous people addressing the lack of reliable data, to smart city stakeholders, to students protesting the academic relationships with sex trafficker and MIT donor Jeffery Epstein, the questionable ethics and values of those heavily investing in and profiting from AI are under global scrutiny. There are biased, wrongful, and disturbing assumptions embedded in AI algorithms that could get locked in without intervention. Our best human judgment is needed to contain AI's harmful impact. Perhaps one of the greatest contributions of AI will be to make us ultimately understand how important human wisdom truly is in life on earth.