Activities are centre-wide and aim to deliver a common good to projects, participants and key stakeholders, as well as the wider national and international community. Any IP generated by activities is available to all projects.
Activities currently underway include:
Ethics and Law of Trusted Autonomous Systems
Led by University of Queensland (UQ) and DST. Approved by the board in November 2018. The legal component aims to develop and promote a better understanding of international law that governs to the use of trusted autonomous systems (TAS) by the Australian Defence Organisation. It further aims to contribute to the development of law, policy and doctrine to ensure that Australia’s reliance on trusted autonomous systems satisfies both humanitarian imperatives and national security interests, and is consistent with Australia’s commitment to upholding international law. The aims of the ethics component are to develop ethical assurance for projects and the benefit of participants, through consultation, advice and policy development, supported by case analysis, education and enculturation.
At February 2021, TAS are on the threshold of exciting announcements in the Ethics & Law activity. Led by our Chief Scientist there will be a refocus and uplift with new content to be announced imminently.
TAS are non-government participants in the United Nations (UN) Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on Lethal Autonomous Systems (LAWS) to ensure the development of autonomous systems accord with ethical principles and the laws of armed conflict (LOAC).
An outcome of this work is demonstrated in TAS contribution to the Defence Science & Technology Group (DSTG) Technical Report, ‘A Method for Ethical AI in Defence‘ and a number of accompanying videos produced by TAS available on our Resources page.
Assurance of Autonomy
Led by the Centre and funded by the Queensland Government. Approved by the board in February 2019. The Assurance of Autonomy activity (A2) aims to unlock Queensland’s, and by extension Australia’s, capacity for translating autonomous system innovation into operational capability, leveraging regulatory and technical expertise and strong stakeholder relationships to support industry and regulators. The Centre team, drawn from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Civil Aviation Safety Authority, and the University of Adelaide, have deep regulatory and technical expertise in autonomous systems, and bring a wealth of practical experience and strong stakeholder relationships to the project.
- Enabling Agile Assurance of Drones in Queensland, supported by QUT; and
- National Accreditation Support Facility Pathfinder Project (NASF-P), led by the Centre.
The A2 team collaborates with domestic and international industry, academia, Government, and regulators including the Assuring Autonomy International Programme (AAIP) at the University of York.
A2 will improve the assurance and accreditation process for autonomous systems, support and promote Queensland test ranges, and pave the way for a new independent third party entity that will offer world-class assurance support and consultancy services to domestic and international businesses. The activity will bring business to Queensland, and enhance its growing reputation as the Smart Drone State, including through the Queensland Drones Strategy.
The A2 activity represents a unique collaborative endeavour to better equip Australian industry and regulators to accelerate innovation in a way that meets a clear and coherent regulatory framework, and enhances safety and efficiency.
An outcome of this Activity includes the TAS Project Report (2021): Development of an Australian Code of Practice for the Design, Construction, Survey and Operation of Autonomous & Remotely Operated Vessels