AI featured on the global stage this week, as well as in the Australian public service. However the government still had trouble operating within the law. Also, more things.
Here’s what I’ve noticed since the previous edition on 27 October.
- UK, US, EU and China sign declaration of AI’s ‘catastrophic’ danger, as well as 25 other countries that didn’t make it into the headline. It’s not a big document, so you might like to read the full text of The Bletchley Declaration by Countries Attending the AI Safety Summit, 1-2 November 2023.
- While they were there, Australia and the UK signed a joint statement to strengthen cooperation on quantum.
- PM&C has a briefing paper, How might artificial intelligence affect the trustworthiness of public service delivery?. If you’re in a hurry, here’s a summary, a summary of insights from the stakeholder engagement and future scenarios workshops, and a summary of the survey results.
- “Australia’s modern slavery laws present an opportunity to stop artificial intelligence models from spreading misinformation, according to a new report that warns state actors and cyber criminals could ‘poison’ AI by manipulating datasets,” reports InnovationAus ($). The report, from the Cybersecurity Cooperative Research Centre, is titled Poison the Well: AI, Data Integrity, and Emerging Cyber Threats.
- “Hundreds of millions of identity checks under the federal government’s ID verification service may have been illegally conducted,” reports the Guardian.
- Also, Dozens of Centrelink fraud prosecutions dropped due to unlawful welfare debt calculations. I wonder whether the Australian government has thought about operating within the law.
- “Canberra’s federal official record-keeping and data-retention practices are so badly off the rails within agencies that they face becoming the next Medibank without being able to adequately find documents needed by royal commissions, auditors and statutory inspectors general,” reports The Mandarin, so apparently not.
- Meta refused to remove memes from popular veterans page after pressure from Australia’s defence department.
- There’s plenty more annual reports in parliament’s tabled documents list this week.
- And finally, iTnews has a big fat State of IT report.
Please let me know if I’ve missed anything, or if there’s any specific items you’d like me to follow. Parliament returns for a Senate-only sitting week on Monday. Here’s the draft legislation program.
[Photo: Australia’s prime minister Anthony Albanese, of course.]