Major Australian businesses are trialling a set of AI ethics principles as a first step to integrating them into their operations.

NAB, the Commonwealth Bank, Telstra, Microsoft, and Flamigo AI are the first to test the AI principles which were developed earlier this year.

The eight AI ethics principles are:

  • Human, social and environmental wellbeing
  • Human-centred values
  • Fairness
  • Privacy protection and security
  • Reliability and safety
  • Transparency and explainability
  • Contestability
  • Accountability

These vary slightly from the initial principles produced by Data61 in April which included a more direct need for AI systems to generate net benefits, do no harm, and comply with regulation.

NAB Chief Data Officer, Glenda Crisp, said the bank was keen to incorporate the AI principles into its business.

“We hope to make a meaningful contribution to the discussion, to learn more about how we can leverage AI in an ethical way in order to help deliver new and improved experiences for our customers,” she said.

“Collaborating with Government and across industry drives diversity of thinking which is vital in developing new ways of working and implementing new technologies safely.”

Telstra Chief Data Officer, Noel Jarrett, said the telco took pride in being involved in this trial.

"There’s no doubt that AI can improve the experiences of our customers and our employees by making things simpler and easier,” he said.

“We want to make sure that we’re using this technology in the right way from the start, and testing these principles will help guide us as we consider how to best use AI.”

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, said the AI framework will help encourage more uptake of advanced technologies.

“We need to make sure we’re working with the business community as AI becomes more prevalent and these principles encourage organisations to strive for the best outcomes for Australia and to practice the highest standards of ethical business,” she said.

“This is essential, as we build Australians’ trust that AI systems are safe, secure, reliable and will have a positive effect on their lives.

“Agreeing on these principles with business, academia and the community is a big step forward in setting our shared expectations of each other in Australia’s AI future.”

Use of this AI framework brings Australia on par with other international regulators including the OECD and World Economic Forum.