08.03.2018Victoria first in Australia and New Zealand to establish an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence

Committee for Melbourne has hailed the establishment of an informal Victorian All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence (VAPPGAI) to discuss the critical and transformative nature of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

First proposed by the Committee for Melbourne in its Melbourne 4.0 report in May 2017, the Victorian Parliament is leading the way in the Southern Hemisphere to prepare Australia for one of the most pressing challenges of our time.

“Simulated human intelligence performed by computers and machines, also known as AI, is one of the key drivers of the Fourth Industrial Revolution; it is hard to overstate its importance, its impact and the implications for our economy and our community” said Committee for Melbourne CEO, Martine Letts.

“The capacity to benefit from, and adapt to, the challenges and opportunities presented by AI is one of the greatest issues facing Victoria and Australia”, said Ms Letts.

In January 2017, the United Kingdom became the first country in the world to set up an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence.

“Today – only fourteen months later – Committee for Melbourne has helped bring together all sides of Victoria’s Parliament to develop a sound and informed regulatory framework around AI”, noted Ms Letts.

“AI will play a huge part in how we do business and conduct our lives in the future, so it’s important that politicians are discussing the challenges and opportunities that will arise as this technology develops”, said Minister for Trade and Investment, Innovation and the Digital Economy and Small Business, The Hon. Philip Dalidakis MP.

“AI is something to be embraced and encouraged, rather than feared. The more we learn about AI through the VAPPGAI, the more opportunity we have to shape policy that embraces its benefits for all Victorians”, said Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources, Innovation and Renewables, David Southwick MP.

“AI is already underpinning a number of advances we use in in our day-to-day lives; virtual assistants such as Siri, legal advice and even journalism with the Washington Post deploying AI in the coverage of the Olympics” Ms Letts noted.

“AI is developing at an exponential rate. In addition to the UK, governments of Canada, the United States China and Japan have all introduced national AI development plans”.

“We must be digitally capable and government is uniquely placed to respond in a way that will contribute to our future and ensure AI is used as a force for good for Victoria”.

“We can’t afford to be left behind”, said Ms Letts.


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