The Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) has released its Horizon Scanning report on The effective and ethical development of artificial intelligence (AI): An opportunity to improve our wellbeing.

The report is published at a crucial time when Australia needs to keep pace with the development of AI technologies and to assure the safe, equitable and ethical implementation of AI in health and across various sectors. 

The report highlights several key findings, emphasising the potential societal and environmental benefits of AI alongside the need to ensure the safe application of technologies. The report stresses that ongoing engagement with the public will be crucial for determining how we, as a society, want to harness such technologies.

The key findings highlight the need for better access to data, development of workforce skills across all sectors, and the need for a national strategy and an independent AI body.

The report emphasises the opportunities AI technologies can bring to various sectors, including the health sector, highlighting the many improvements AI can offer to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of health conditions.

The development of the report was led by an Expert Working Group, chaired by Professor Toby Walsh FAA and Professor Neil Levy FAHA. The Academy was delighted to be presented on this group by our Fellow, Professor Fiona Wood AM FAHMS.  

The Academy recently organised a roundtable on AI in Health focused on discussing the benefits, opportunities, challenges and risk of the implementation of AI in the health sector – and we look forward to progressing debate on this area of application. The roundtable was attended by ACOLA and several members of the ACOLA‚Äôs Expert Working Group. 

The full report is available to download on ACOLA’s website.

Professor Walsh spoke to RN Breakfast about the report – you can listen here