4 July 2023

Digital Platform Regulators Forum puts generative AI on agenda

The heads of the 4 members of the Digital Platform Regulators Forum (DP-REG) met on 20 June 2023 to review the forum’s progress over 2022-23 and to discuss strategic priorities for the year ahead.

DP-REG comprises the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), the eSafety Commissioner (eSafety) and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC). DP-REG is led by the heads of each member regulator:

  • Gina Cass-Gottlieb (Chair, ACCC)
  • Nerida O’Loughlin PSM (Chair, ACMA)
  • Julie Inman Grant (eSafety Commissioner, eSafety)
  • Angelene Falk (Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner, OAIC)

Strategic priorities for 2023-24

As DP-REG enters the 2023-24 financial year, we will continue to focus on assessing the impact of algorithms, improving digital transparency, and increased collaboration and capacity building between the 4 members.

Over the past 12 months, there have also been significant developments in relation to the development, deployment and use of generative artificial intelligence (AI). DP-REG will focus on understanding and assessing the benefits, risks and harms of generative AI and how the technology intersects with the regulatory remit of each DP-REG member.

Summary of 2022-23 activities

DP-REG’s strategic priorities for the previous financial year included a focus on the impact of algorithms, seeking to increase transparency of digital platforms’ activities and how they are protecting users from potential harm, and collaboration and capacity building. Three working groups were established to progress these priorities and the other activities of DP-REG: 

  • Digital Technology Working Group to jointly explore relevant digital platform technologies (including algorithms) and their regulatory implications 
  • Codes & Regulation Working Group to undertake activities that promote a coordinated approach to regulatory frameworks and common regulatory issues, and to build regulatory capability across DP-REG members
  • Data & Research Working Group to undertake activities that reduce barriers to and support the collection and sharing of relevant data, research and information across DP-REG members.

In the 2022-23 financial year, DP-REG’s projects and activities included:

  • Drafting a working paper titled Literature Summary: Harms and risks of algorithms. The working paper examines algorithms that are particularly relevant to the regulatory remit of DP-REG members including recommender systems, targeted advertising and content moderation.
  • A joint submission(Opens in a new tab/window) to the Senate Economics References Committee inquiry into the influence of international digital platforms.
  • Inter-agency workshops on algorithms and best-practice approaches to code development, implementation, enforcement and review.
  • Ongoing monitoring of Australian regulatory reforms in the digital platforms context.
  • Collaborating on the development and design of DP-REG member consumer research activities.
  • Engagement with industry stakeholders and academic experts, including on the topics of responsible AI, content moderation and generative AI.
  • Ongoing collaboration, information sharing, and coordination on matters relating to digital platforms regulation.
  • Engagement with international counterparts to scope future opportunities for international collaboration.
  • Examination of Generative AI large language models and the potential intersection of this quickly-developing technology with the regulatory remits of each DP-REG member. A working paper will be published shortly.

Through the forum, all members continue to share information and work together to tackle issues across their traditional lines of responsibility.

The forum remains committed to working together to promote proportionate, cohesive, well-designed, and efficiently implemented digital platform regulation.