Engineers Australia has welcomed the Federal Government’s Interim Response to Safe and Responsible AI as a positive first step in balancing regulation and safety with innovation.
Engineers Australia CEO Romilly Madew said, “Engineers Australia supports the Government’s commitment to a future where AI is both a force for good and responsibly managed. We must pioneer a path that balances innovation with safety, ensuring AI’s benefits while protecting professionals, educators, students, and the community.”
The Government’s announcement focused on ways to make sure the design, development, and deployment of AI in legitimate high-risk settings is safe and responsible, while ensuring that AI can continue being used in low-risk settings largely unimpeded.
“This approach, blending regulatory and non-regulatory strategies in a risk-based framework, is not just about control – it’s about empowering responsible AI use across diverse sectors,” said Madew.
“We are particularly pleased with the announcement of an AI expert advisory body, which aligns with our recommendation for a specialised taskforce that includes engineering expertise, which is crucial in the development, implementation, integration, use and maintenance of AI systems and products.
“This advisory body should offer technical advice and expertise on AI development, adoption, and use, along with regulatory and non-regulatory options. AI regulation should strike a balance, blending risk management and control systems. Tailoring regulation to diverse sectors, use cases and risk profiles is crucial.”
Engineers Australia will continue to consult with government, industry, and academia, with a focus on regulatory guardrails.
Madew said, “while this is a step in the right direction, we’d like to see the government working closely with engineering professionals on designing and building these systems with appropriate consideration of the ethics of AI systems, alongside the development of codes of conduct for professional practice.”