Skip to main content


Adopting AI in Australia

Technology and Human Rights


Learn more about how Australia can adopt artificial intelligence safely and with respect for human rights.

The Australian Human Rights Commission (Commission) has provided a submission to the Select Committee on Adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

Artificial intelligence 

AI can have profoundly positive impacts as technology improves our lives in amazing ways. However, there can be severe consequences for human rights without AI safeguards and human oversight. This submission focused on the risks of AI from algorithmic bias to misinformation and disinformation.


A UN General Assembly resolution has recently stated that ‘human rights and fundamental freedoms must be respected, protected and promoted throughout the life cycle of artificial intelligence systems’. As Australia continues its work to develop appropriate regulatory and policy responses to AI, the protection of human rights should be a central priority. 

Despite a perception that AI-based decision-making is free from human intervention and thus objective in nature, algorithmic bias can perpetuate existing biases, thus replicating human errors and entrenching issues such as unlawful discrimination.

Automation bias can also have consequences for individuals from a consumer to government level. When integrating AI into both government and private sector business models and service, the risk of both automation and algorithmic bias should be mitigated.

Synthetic content

AI-generated misinformation and disinformation may harm several human rights. The Commission has previously emphasised that misinformation and disinformation can have devastating effects on human rights, social cohesion and democratic processes. Indeed, this can be the very purpose intended by the release of disinformation.

While there is a clear need to combat misinformation and disinformation, there is also a real risk of different perspectives and opinions being targeted when doing so. Robust safeguards for freedom of expression must form part of any measures taken to combat misinformation and disinformation in order to ensure that Australia’s democratic values are not undermined.

Human right to environment 

The international community is increasingly recognising the human right to a healthy environment. There is intersection between AI and the human right to a healthy environment. 

AI has the potential to have a positive impact on the environment in a range of ways, including by improving energy efficiency and enhancing sustainable practices. 

However, AI also poses significant environmental risks, particularly due to the large amount of computational power and energy involved in developing and training an AI model.


The Commission's submission makes six important recommendations ranging from centering human rights in AI regulation to establishing a national AI Commissioner. To learn more about these recommendations, please read the submission.