AI as a digital asset

Australia: Regulation of AI

Latest developments

In March 2022, the Morrison Government released an issues paper seeking views on regulatory settings and systems that can enable and better facilitate the responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI) and automated decision-making (ADM) in Australia (Issues Paper).

The ACCC’s Digital Platforms Reports also considered emerging developments in relation to AI and its use by digital platforms.

More recently, as part of the 2023-24 May Budget, the Albanese Government announced $101.2 million to support businesses to integrate quantum and artificial intelligence technologies into their operations. This includes $41.2 million to support the responsible deployment of AI in the national economy.

On 1 June 2023, the Albanese Government released a discussion paper titled Safe and Responsible AI in Australia (Discussion Paper). The Discussion Paper sought views on how the Australian Government can mitigate any potential risks of AI through governance mechanisms, to support safe and responsible AI practices. Written submissions to the discussion paper were accepted until the closing date of 4 August 2023.


The Discussion Paper notes that, in light of unprecedented speed of AI innovation in Australia and globally, potential governance mechanisms should be evaluated to ensure AI is developed and used safely and responsibly in Australia. The Discussion Paper proposes a risk management approach for managing AI risks whereby the risk management requirements for medium and high-risk applications are significantly more onerous. 

Outside the federal government’s voluntary AI Ethics Framework (containing eight principles designed to help organisations developing or implementing of AI to reduce the risk of its negative impacts and ensure that its use is supported by good governance standards) Australia does not yet directly regulate AI. However, various other legislation may indirectly regulate AI, for example via the Privacy Act or civil liability statutes.

AI and the use of algorithms also featured in the ACCC’s Digital Platforms March Interim Report. The ACCC supported expanding the definition of ‘personal information’ in the Privacy Act to align with the definition of ‘personal data’ in the GDPR to address challenges posed by emerging technologies such as AI and data analytics (such proposition is included in the Report referred to in chapter 4 of this guide).

The Digital Platforms Services Inquiry also considered emerging developments in online news and AI, noting that although AI, machine learning and chatbots can have positive applications in news production and in counteracting the spread of misinformation and disinformation, these technologies also have the potential to cause harm, particularly in relation to scams and fraudulent economic and social activities. The ACCC observed that the increasing use of AI in news production and consumption may raise issues of ‘AI bias’, where AI systems containing statistical biases in their models or algorithms could lead to undesirable, unequal and unfair outcomes. The ACCC warned that issues of AI bias may lead to “extremely concerning outcomes” if replicated in the socially important functions of producing, distributing and consuming news. It did not make any specific reform recommendations in respect of this issue, however it may be covered in a later report as part of the Digital Platforms Services inquiry referred to in chapter 1.

In response to the Discussion Paper, members for the Digital Platform Regulators forum (DP-REG), which comprises the ACCC, ACMA, the eSafety Commissioner and the OAIC, made a joint submission outlining the opportunities and challenges presented by rapid advances in AI. In their submission, the DP-REG supported a governance approach which contemplates the use of existing regulatory frameworks and reform proposals to provide appropriate safeguards. Furthermore, the DP-REG highlighted that coordination between DP-REG members and other arms of government to leverage complementary strengths and expertise will remain crucial to Australia’s response to AI.

How could it be relevant for you?

Impacts of proposed reforms to the Privacy Act are discussed in chapter 4 of this guide.

Next steps

As set out in chapter 4, the Privacy Act is currently under review and subject to a reform process that will likely affect the regulation of AI.

*Information is accurate up to 27 November 2023

AI as a digital asset - Explore further sections

Explore other chapters in the guide

Data as a key digital asset

Crypto assets

AI as a digital asset

Privacy & Data Protection


Digital Identity and Trust Services