Turbocharging ethical AI in Australia

MEDIA RELEASE | Gradient Institute joins forces with Ethical AI Advisory

23 September 2020

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Media Release
Non-profit Gradient Institute and consultancy Ethical AI Advisory have signed an alliance to tackle one of the most urgent problems facing Australian society today: the development and deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that is both ethical and trustworthy.

AI is the fastest growing technology sector in the world with more than US$35 billion invested in 2019, an 18 per cent increase on 2018 (IDC, 2020). About 40% of organisations are predicted to use AI by the end of this year.**

Likened to the impact of the introduction of electricity on business and society, AI will increase efficiency, improve analytics and decision-making, and automate many tasks for which humans were once required. Essentially, AI will make things better, faster and cheaper – however, it will also break things better, faster and cheaper.

However, despite the rapid pace of growth of the AI sector, there are few laws, regulations, practical guidelines or software tools to assist companies developing or deploying AI. Some recent high profile examples of AI gone wrong include credit limit discrimination against women and racially biased medical algorithms – the likes of which have led companies working in AI to sit up and pay attention.

“We are looking forward to together helping establish Australia’s global leadership in the ethical development and use of AI.”

Bill Simpson-Young, Gradient CEO

Both Gradient and Ethical AI Advisory contributed to the Federal Government’s development of Australia’s AI Ethics Framework released by the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, in November 2019, and the Human Rights Commission’s AI Discussion Paper launched in December 2019.

Now these two leading organisations have come together to help solve Australia’s need for ethical AI governance, training, research and development by offering the following services:

Gradient Institute provides deep expertise in AI systems consulting focused on evaluation, design, implementation and measurement of AI systems to check them against ethical goals. In addition, it is focused on research and collaboration to advance the science of ethical AI. It also provides training and education to professionals responsible for the technical, managerial, policy and decision-making aspects of AI-based decision systems.

Ethical AI Advisory provides training and education in AI and ethics for boards, executives and leaders in organisations interested in developing a strong governance and leadership capability in ethical AI; plus the design and development of ethical AI frameworks and toolkits as well as keynote speaking and coaching in the field.

Gradient CEO, Bill Simpson-Young, said, “We are thrilled to be partnering with Dr Catriona Wallace and the Ethical AI Advisory team. Catriona has been a vocal advocate of the ethical development and use of AI for a long time, and we have always considered her a key member of Australia’s ethical AI ecosystem. We think that Gradient’s expertise in the technical aspects of ethical AI and Ethical AI Advisory’s expertise in governance and organisational design for AI are highly complementary. We are looking forward to together helping establish Australia’s global leadership in the ethical development and use of AI.”

Dr Catriona Wallace, Founder & CEO of Ethical AI Advisory, said, “We are very pleased to be partnering with Gradient. Bill Simpson-Young, Tiberio Caetano and the team are the best in their fields, highly knowledgeable and capable in research, training and operationalising ethical AI. We are experts in executive education, organisational design and implementation of ethical AI principles – so the two organisations coming together provides the ideal end to end service.”

These combined services are ideal for organisations who recognise that AI will be an important part of their company’s infrastructure, but also want to ensure that it is built to maintain the trust of its clients and customers while reducing risk and unintended harm.

Both organisations believe that Australia has a great opportunity to position itself as a global leader in ethical AI, giving Australian companies a competitive advantage while also doing the right thing by customers and society at large.

About Ethical AI Advisory

Ethical AI Advisory is a consulting firm led by global experts in Artificial Intelligence and Organisational Behaviour, assisting leaders and organisations to develop and integrate ethical AI.

About Gradient Institute

Gradient Institute is an independent non-profit that researches, designs and develops ethical AI systems, and provides training in how to build accountability and transparency into machine learning systems. It provides technical leadership in evaluating, designing, implementing and measuring AI systems against ethical goals; and creating AI decision-making tools based on its research into the new science of ethical AI.