Safe and responsible AI in Australia discussion paper

Read more about the joint submission from library and information service-related organisations to the safe and responsible AI in Australia discussion paper.

Executive Summary

Libraries and information services have three major points of interaction with AI, including generative AI, tools:

  • As providers of education and support to people seeking to understand and use these tools.
  • As custodians of cultural collections and users of AI tools.
  • As experts and participants in the wider information ecosystem, including key areas such as academic and trade publishing.

This submission addresses these areas, identifying needs and areas of uncertainty, and then concludes with a discussion on policies and standards. The submission does not go into depth with the many issues already well identified in the discussion paper and other sources around ethical and practical concerns with the technologies, including bias, transparency and privacy.

In developing our response to the discussion paper, we are guided as library and information services organisations by our commitment to fundamental principles including equity of access to information, knowledge and culture; respect for the individuality and diversity of people; preservation of the human record; and the protection of privacy.1 In line with these values, and to effectively and safely harness the benefits of generative AI, we recommend the following:

  1. Priority is given to improving literacy, including AI, information and media literacy, across the Australian population.
  2. A commitment is made to uphold human rights, ensuring fairness and centring ethical considerations2 in the development and use of generative AI tools
  3. Regulations, policy, standards and guidelines should be created in consultation with key stakeholders including library and information professionals, representatives of minority or vulnerable groups and First Nations people.

About this submission

This submission is jointly made by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) including ALIA VET Libraries Australia (ALIA VLA), the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL), National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA), CAVAL, AI4LAM and Open Access Australasia (OAA).

Read the full discussion paper

Read about the consultation processĀ