The challenge


This project focused on the distinctive and impactful policy options available to the NSW Government to foster ethical and responsible AI in the economy and society, leveraging the NSW Government’s existing position as a global digital leader.

JMI brought together a project team to undertake research, collect evidence and insights and identify practical policy opportunities. The team worked in close collaboration with the NSW Government’s Chief Data Scientist, Dr Ian Oppermann, from June to December 2023 with active support from a dedicated Expert Advisory Group that included leading AI academic researchers from diverse disciplines as well as industry-based experts.

In addition, the team conducted over 20 consultations with leading AI experts from civil society groups, industry stakeholders, government policy staff, professional practitioners, and academic researchers.

  • JMI project director and project manager
  • Chief Data Scientist, NSW Department of Customer Service
  • Professor Lyria Bennett Moses (Director, UNSW Allens Hub for Technology, Law and Innovation; Professor, UNSW Law & Justice)
  • Professor Nicole Gillespie (Lead, Trust Ethics and Governance Alliance Research and KPMG Chair in Trust, University of Queensland)
  • Professor Heather Horst FAHA (Professor and Director, Institute Culture and Society, Western Sydney University and Chief Investigator, Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society)
  • Professor Peter Leonard (Director, Data Synergies, Professor of Practice, UNSW Sydney Business School and Member, NSW AI Review Committee)
  • Dr Ian Oppermann (then Chief Data Scientist, NSW Government, and Industry Professor, UTS)
  • Professor Edward Santow (Director, Policy and Governance, Human Technology Institute, Industry Professor, Responsible Technology, UTS, and Member, NSW AI Review Committee)
  • Myfanwy Wallwork (Fellow, Human Technology Institute, UTS)
  • Professor Kimberlee Weatherall (Professor of Law, University of Sydney and Chief Investigator, ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society)

In a nutshell

hrs of stakeholder consultations
AI experts and stakeholders consulted
policy documents, pieces of legislation and research papers reviewed
leading AI experts from government and academia attended senior policymaker briefing
innovative policy options identified
experts and stakeholders attended report launch at the NSW Future of AI Summit in December 2023

Policy insights

The Project Report highlighted 15 policy opportunities for the NSW Government that covered the following key areas:

First, there is an opportunity to develop an improved regulatory framework to help guide the development and use of AI technologies, reflecting key principles such as notification, explainability, disputes and appeals, and liability. The report also highlighted the opportunity to review existing NSW legislation and better resource NSW regulators to enhance their capacity to manage emerging AI risks.
Second, there is an opportunity to shape the development and use of AI by leveraging the considerable procurement spend of the NSW Government. The report highlights that there are strong grounds to integrate the NSW Government’s AI Assurance Framework into its Procurement Policy Framework, and to amend the NSW Government’s Supplier Code of Conduct to reflect the principles of its AI Ethics Policy.
Third, there is an opportunity to shape the market through knowledge transfer, such as by issuing codes of practice, publishing government assurance review case studies, and facilitating information exchange across the private sector about responsible AI.
Finally, there are opportunities to enhance the regulatory capabilities of the NSW Government to regulate and shape AI, including by establishing an Emerging Technology Commissioner, embedding First Nations experts in NSW Government’s response to AI, creating new mechanisms to include civil society and impacted communities in AI regulation and policy development, and mapping AI regulatory capabilities.

How we are creating change

The project set out practical, innovative, and long-term policy options for the NSW Government. It brought together various AI experts from multiple domains, including academia, industry, and civil society.

The policy opportunities outlined in the report are timely and directly relevant to other jurisdictions in Australia. With other states and the Commonwealth government currently working on actions they can take to regulate and influence the development and use of AI, the approaches outlined in the report can support these efforts by offering concrete avenues for reform for policymakers in other jurisdictions to consider.

In addition to crafting transformative policy options, the report generated an evidence base for potential policy development in a complex and rapidly evolving field.

By bringing together a wide range of researchers, industry experts and senior NSW policymakers, the project also created opportunities for collaborative idea exploration and exchange.

The report was launched at the 2023 NSW Future of AI Summit and received positive feedback from senior NSW Government policymakers and researchers. Its findings and policy opportunities are now being considered by digital policy leaders in the NSW Government.

Tracking progress