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4 in 5 people believe businesses should ensure artificial intelligence systems are fair and safe

CHOICE calls for AI regulation in line with community expectations this World Consumer Rights Day.

Last updated: 15 March 2024

New nationally representative research from CHOICE has revealed 4 in 5 Australians believe businesses should ensure their artificial intelligence system is fair and safe before releasing it to the public, despite no such requirement existing in Australia. 

The release of the research coincides with World Consumer Rights Day, which this year is focusing on fair and responsible AI for consumers.

"AI systems can supercharge scams, create misinformation and harmful deepfakes, and when used in essential services like insurance, can exacerbate discrimination and unfairness. They are also notoriously opaque, making it difficult for consumers to know the risks by simply interacting with a product or service," says CHOICE consumer data advocate, Kate Bower. 

"Australians want fairer systems for AI, so they're protected from the range of potential harms associated with this technology. This World Consumer Rights Day, we're calling for stronger AI regulations to do just that," says Bower.

"Our survey also found 3 in 4 people believe the government should ensure businesses are required to assess and prevent risks of AI products or services before releasing them to consumers. The message from Australians couldn't be clearer - they want the government to place obligations on businesses to mitigate the risks of AI systems," says Bower. 

"While there are some laws surrounding AI, there are significant gaps when it comes to consumer protection, privacy, discrimination and copyright law. CHOICE's submission to the government's consultation on Safe and Responsible AI earlier this year made multiple recommendations urging the government to enshrine in legislation requirements for AI systems to be fair, safe, reliable, transparent, and accountable," says Bower. 

"With the World Consumers Rights Day theme for 2024 being fair and responsible AI for consumers, now is the perfect time to address the serious implications artificial intelligence poses to consumer safety and digital fairness by introducing stronger laws," says Bower. 

Editor's notes: 

Every year on 15 March the international consumer movement celebrates World Consumer Rights Day to raise global awareness of consumer rights and protection. This year's theme is 'Fair and responsible AI for consumers.'

CHOICE Consumer Pulse January 2024 is based on an online survey designed and analysed by CHOICE. 1,058 Australian households responded to the survey with quotas applied to ensure coverage across all age groups, genders and locations in each state and territory across metropolitan and regional areas. The data was weighted to ensure it is representative of the Australian population based on the 2021 ABS Census data. Fieldwork was conducted from the 16th of January until the 5th of February, 2024. 

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