Culture and AI: Friends, foes or frenemies? 

31 October 2023

Friend, foe or frenemy: Foreseeable impacts of AI on arts, culture and creativity, the latest analysis from A New Approach (ANA), demonstrates the depth and diversity of applications of AI in Australian arts and culture and highlights the need for enhanced understanding and governance.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the way people connect with arts and culture around the world. In Australia, AI is already being used to create, distribute, participate, regulate, preserve and translate. However recent indications suggest that many Australians are hesitant about the use of generative AI in arts and culture.

ANA CEO Kate Fielding said Australians are already forming nuanced views about AI, but noted there’s still limited awareness about how it is being applied and what its effects are on creators and consumers.

“AI is being used by creators across forms, mediums and platforms. It is shaping the experiences of consumers through content recommendation and moderation. And it’s also increasing access, with translation and captioning enabling wider groups of people to see, hear and experience arts and culture,” said Ms Fielding.

“It’s clear that AI is changing our connection to arts and culture but around the world people are still working out how to balance the risks and benefits. Generative AI and incentives to create are very much the focus right now. AI presents real risks so we need timely, coordinated governance to manage these and unlock opportunities for Australian creators.

“But we also need to have a broader conversation about other applications of AI outside of generating creative works and what the benefits might be for participation. To do this, governments, creative and technology industries need to engage meaningfully with the wide range of people affected by AI. After all, it is people who develop and apply AI.”

Ms Fielding also highlighted that attitudes towards AI will likely evolve. ANA recommends an agile, risk-based approach to policy, governance and regulation which aims to safeguard the interests of all Australians now and into the future.

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New Approach acknowledges that it meets, works and travels on the lands of First Nations peoples. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and to all First Nations peoples.