Science & Technology

Australia partners with Microsoft for AI use in public sector

Sydney, Australia, Nov 16 (EFE).- Australia will launch a six-month pilot program with Microsoft to explore the “safe and responsible use” of generative artificial intelligence (AI) in the public sector, the country’s prime minister said Thursday.

Anthony Albanese made the announcement after a meeting with Microsoft Chairman Satya Nadella on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the United States on Wednesday, according to a press statement by the Australian government.

“By strengthening our partnership with Microsoft, we are charting a course for the future of public service – one where generative AI is used responsibly to enhance the work of the APS (Australian Public Service) in delivering for Australians without compromising on safety,” Albanese said in the statement.

The plan will be implemented through a six-month trial of Microsoft 365 Copilot – an AI assistant tool – in the first half of 2024, with training, onboarding, and implementation assistance by Microsoft.

The program, which will be evaluated after the trial period, will make Australia “the first government in the world to deploy generative AI service,” the statement said.

“AI is emerging as a widely used technology and presents many opportunities for government and the way it delivers crucial services to the Australian community, but we must adopt it in a safe and controlled way,” Australian Finance Minister Katy Gallagher said in the statement.

Several countries worldwide are seeking regulations on AI technology to mitigate risks such as disinformation and the violation of privacy or intellectual property.

In October, the G7 countries agreed on a code of conduct to promote the development of “secure and trustworthy” AI systems internationally and “address the risks” associated with the technology. EFE


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