Artificial Intelligence Assurance Framework to drive safe, secure and smart projects

Department of Customer Service

Safer and more efficient services will be delivered for NSW residents using Artificial Intelligence (AI), with a new world-leading AI Assurance Framework to come into effect in March 2022.

All agencies across the NSW Government can apply the Assurance Framework to ensure increasingly sophisticated AI systems are safe, effective and delivering on state outcomes, improving the lives of people in NSW and the resilience of communities and driving the economy.

NSW Government’s Chief Data Scientist Dr Ian Oppermann said the Framework would ensure Government services using AI were aligned to state outcomes, easy to access and use by customers as well as being personalised and secure.

“AI creates a huge opportunity to improve Government services. We are already piloting the technology with eHealth NSW to help doctors to earlier identify sepsis in patients attending emergency departments,” Dr Oppermann said.

“Sepsis can be fatal which is why it is critical it is identified as soon as possible. But visible symptoms may be minor and it is hard to predict as it could be a complication of almost any infection.

“With AI we were able to detect patterns in the patients who developed sepsis across the past five years using medical data from Western Sydney Local Health District emergency departments and use this information to now better detect patients most at risk.

“This allows our doctors and nurses to keep a closer watch on these patients and potentially save hundreds of lives a year.”

The Framework identifies issues to consider when planning AI systems, ways of monitoring AI system performance and recommendations to address any issues identified when piloting AI systems.

Dr Oppermann said it would be vital for the government to continue to learn and grow as AI technology evolves and bring new challenges.

“The Framework lays the foundation for appropriate use of AI systems, which in turn means new ways of delivering government services in NSW,” Dr Oppermann said.

“AI can be used to drive the State’s economy by helping businesses to grow and could solve some of the State’s most complex challenges from supporting vulnerable residents to detecting fraud in the banking sector.

“The AI Assurance Framework is designed to support government agencies at every stage as projects are delivered with AI technology. It provides clear guidance on the safe use of AI and puts protections in place to safely create and deliver smart, digital solutions.

“With the Framework, the Government will be able to support more projects which provide essential services to everyone across NSW while also managing the risks associated with the technology.”

The AI Assurance Framework was an outcome of the AI Strategy, which also included the formation of the nation-leading NSW AI Advisory Committee, chaired by the NSW Government’s Chief Data Scientist Dr Ian Oppermann, and comprised of AI experts from industry, academia and government.

To date, the Committee has been instrumental in guiding and overseeing the use of AI in the NSW Government, including supporting the development of the new AI Assurance Framework.

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