Australia: Australian Senate to establish Select Committee on AI - submissions close 10 May 2024

The Australian Senate has resolved to establish a Select Committee on Adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI) to inquire into and report to the Australian Parliament on the opportunities and impacts arising out of the adoption of AI technologies in Australia. This provides an important opportunity for Australian companies to shape the future direction of Australia's AI-related regulatory reforms. Interested parties are encouraged to make written submissions by 10 May 2024.

In brief

On 26 March 2024, the Australian Senate resolved to establish the Select Committee on Adopting Artificial Intelligence (Committee) to inquire into and report on the opportunities and impacts arising out of the adoption of AI technologies in Australia.

The Committee's inquiry provides an important opportunity for Australian companies to shape the future direction of Australia's AI-related regulatory reforms as the Government continues to formulate its position on the regulation of AI.


Based on the Australian Government's interim response to its consultation relating to Safe and Responsible AI in Australia released on 17 January 2024, as discussed in more detail in our client alert, some of the areas of focus for potential regulatory changes include:

  • concerns that Australia's current regulatory framework does not sufficiently address risks presented by AI, particularly the high-risk applications of AI in legitimate settings and frontier models
  • concerns that existing laws do not adequately prevent AI-facilitated harms before they occur
  • identifying where an AI-specific legal response may be needed and where existing laws are sufficient to manage current and emerging risks associated with AI
  • considering if mandatory obligations or "guardrails" are needed for those who develop or use AI systems that present a high risk, to ensure their AI systems are safe; and
  • defining what constitutes "high risk" AI in Australia that should be subject to enhanced regulation.

The Committee's inquiry and call for submissions also follows a flurry of important Australian regulatory and policy developments throughout 2023 relating to AI, as considered in our 2023 AI Year in Review.

Interested parties, and particularly any companies that are engaging with AI technologies in Australia or plan to do so, are encouraged to contribute to the inquiry by making submissions to the Committee on several topics relevant to the inquiry's terms of reference including:

  • recent trends and opportunities in the development and adoption of AI technologies in Australia and overseas, in particular as they relate to generative AI;
  • risks and harms arising from the adoption of AI including bias, discrimination, and error;
  • emerging international approaches (including regulatory and policy settings) to mitigating AI risks
  • opportunities to adopt AI in ways that benefit citizens, the environment and/or economic growth, for example in health and climate management
  • opportunities to foster a responsible AI industry in Australia and investment in AI technologies
  • potential threats to democracy and trust in institutions from AI, particularly generative AI; and
  • environmental impacts of AI technologies and opportunities for limiting and mitigating impacts.

The Committee has called for written submissions by 10 May 2024 and intends to present its final report to the Australian Parliament on or before 19 September 2024. Submissions should be addressed to the Committee Secretariat:

Select Committee on Adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI)
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Please contact us if you have any questions or would like assistance preparing a submission.

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