Jane Hume: AI can contribute $22 trillion to global economy by 2030, and we want Australia to lead way

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Sarah IsonThe West Australian
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Digital Economy Minister Jane Hume.
Camera IconDigital Economy Minister Jane Hume. Credit: METHODE

The Morrison Government is investing billions into artificial intelligence as digital uptake in Australia has accelerated by more than a decade in the last 12 months because of COVID-19.

Minister for Digital Economy Jane Hume will on Tuesday reaffirm the Government’s commitment to capitalise on AI, which is predicted to contribute 22 trillion dollars to the global economy by 2030.

“From a Government services perspective, AI can lead to improved modelling, better policies, programs and outcomes for citizens,” Senator Hume said.

“We don’t want Australia to simply keep up, we want to lead, and show others the way.”

The Morrison Government this year unveiled a 1.2 billion dollar Digital Economy Strategy, aimed at making Australia a leader in the digital market by 2030.

The strategy aims to make all businesses digitally connected and give all Australians access to digital skills and technology by the turn of the decade.

Senator Hume will tell the Committee for Economic Development of Australia that COVID accelerated the nation’s shift online by about a decade, with the Government planning to “build on this momentum”.

“But with accelerating growth, we must lead in setting the right standards,” she said.

“We must ensure that AI is ethical, responsible and inclusive.”

Australia’s AI Ethics Principals, set earlier this year, include the need for AI systems to respect human rights (such as privacy), be totally transparent and subject to human oversight.

“We want to maximise the opportunities that AI presents to us - to improve our daily lives,” Senator Hume said.

“But equally we do not want to subsume the intangible but fundamental things that make our human lives rich today with the technology to make life easier.

“While we adopt and adapt to new technology, we must vigilantly protect our democratic values, our rights to privacy, and our expectations of honesty, transparency and accountability.”

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