User is central AI

TUANZ says user is central to national AI response

The Tech Users Association (TUANZ) has asked Government to ensure the user is central to any national response around artificial intelligence (AI).

In a letter to the Minister of Digital Economy and Communications, Hon Ginny Andersen, TUANZ has asked the government to strongly consider the impacts AI may have on users now and in the future so that users aren’t forgotten when strategising and agreeing regulations.

One of the key issues raised in TUANZ’s recently released Digital Priorities Report was how business and individual users will be impacted by the rise of generative AI that has grown in impact this year.

“We shared our new vision for the future at a cross-party meeting on the need for a national strategy for AI at Parliament last month. Our vision focuses on the needs of users of technology, and making sure no one misses out on the opportunities the technology provides but is safe and inclusive for all New Zealanders,” says TUANZ CEO Craig Young.

“While the opportunities AI gives to strengthen many of our industries and birth entirely new ones are exciting and worthy of interest and engagement, we need to balance the potential gains in business, education, and other areas with the views and informed consent of the user(s).”

“We need to consider how the regulatory frameworks, policies, and statements that the government and other trusted representatives make on this topic may help or harm users’ understanding of the technology.”

TUANZ believes education should be at the centre. Users should understand how the services they consume are provided and they should be able to consent appropriately – both to using AI-based services and to having their data used by AI algorithms.

“There is a digital divide in Aotearoa, both in the having of tech and the understanding of tech. So while we can and should attempt to educate everyone, we need to be mindful of any increases in inequity that AI may bring about,” says Craig.

“We hope to remain engaged with the Minister and cross-party caucus, particularly if work is undertaken to develop a national AI strategy to ensure that the user voice is not lost in discussions.

For further comment or interview, please contact Craig Young
Phone: 021 488 188

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