What is Artificial Intelligence?
''Artificial intelligence (AI) is a collective term for machine-based or digital systems that use machine or human-provided inputs to perform advanced tasks for a human-defined objective, such as producing predications, advice, inferences, decisions, or generating content.'' (definition from Solomon, L., & Davis, N., (2023) The State of AI Governance in Australia, Human Technology Institute, The University of Technology Sydney).
AI technologies can help with efficiency and timeliness when used with appropriate governance to undertake logical tasks. AI technologies require ethical frameworks to work within, and human oversight, to ensure that:
- bias or harm does not occur
- content provided is accurate and not misleading
- malicious activity does not result from its use
- fundamental human rights are not impaired.
Different types of AI have different purposes. For example:
- Automation AI technologies undertake actions in accordance with specific parameters and data sets available
- Machine learning and other decision-making AI technologies make decisions in accordance with specific parameters and data sets available
- Generative AI including Large Language Models (LLMs) create new content in accordance with specific parameters and data sets available
- Combination AI technologies can do all of the above: create content, form decisions on that content, and then perform actions on that content in accordance with specific parameters and data sets available.
Why is it important to capture records of AI technologies?
It is not enough to have records of business, actions and decisions on their own. Associated with those records of business, it is vital to also have records of the technologies and processes that produced them. This is because the processes and technologies used impact on how the record was formed, what was captured and how it will be kept. These in turn impact on a range of factors including access to the record, the context within which the record is understood, and the integrity of the record as evidence.
Stakeholders have increasing awareness of harms and inaccuracies produced through using AI technologies. Stakeholders will want to know:
- Was AI technology used to make the decision/take the action or generate the content?
- Was/is the algorithm and/or underlying data biased?
- Was/is the content produced through AI technologies accurate and relevant?
- Has the agency done enough to mitigate any negative impacts?