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Australia: Digital Platform Regulators Forum to focus on generative AI in 2023-24

On July 4, 2023, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) announced that the heads of the four members of the Digital Platform Regulators Forum (DP-REG) had met on June 20, 2023, to discuss the DP-REG's progress over 2022-23 and its strategic priorities for 2023-24. In particular, the DP-REG comprises the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), the eSafety Commissioner (eSafety), and the OAIC.

2023-24 agenda

The members of the DP-REG have expressed that they will continue to focus on assessing the impact of algorithms, improving digital transparency, and increasing collaboration and capacity building between the four members. More specifically, this will entail focussing on understanding and assessing the benefits, risks, and harms of generative artificial intelligence (AI) and how the technology intersects with the regulatory remit of each DP-REG member.

Summary of 2022-23 activities

The DP-REG's priorities for the previous year included a focus on the impact of algorithms, increasing transparency of digital platforms' activities and the protection of users from potential harm, and collaboration and capacity building, whereby three working groups were established to progress these priorities and the other activities of the DP-REG:

  • the Digital Technology Working Group: to jointly explore relevant digital platform technologies (including algorithms) and their regulatory implications;
  • the Codes & Regulation Working Group: to undertake activities that promote a coordinated approach to regulatory frameworks and common regulatory issues, and to build regulatory capability across the DP-REG members; and
  • the Data & Research Working Group: to undertake activities that reduce barriers to, and support the collection and sharing of, relevant data, research, and information across the DP-REG members.

Notably, the OAIC highlighted some of the DP-REG's projects and activities in 2022-23, which include:

  • the working paper titled 'Literature Summary: Harms and risks of algorithms,' which examines algorithms that are particularly relevant to the regulatory remit of the DP-REG members, including recommender systems, targeted advertising, and content moderation;
  • ongoing monitoring of Australian regulatory reforms in the digital platforms context; and
  • engagement with industry stakeholders and academic experts, including on the topics of responsible AI, content moderation, and generative AI.

You can read the press release here.