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Lyria Bennett Moses

Over the past decade, cyber security has become an increasing concern for our national and global communities. As the Director of the UNSW Allens Hub for Technology, Law and Innovation and Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Law and Justice at UNSW Sydney, Professor Bennett Moses has worked to help develop standards for artificial intelligence.    

Professor Bennett Moses’ ongoing work on standards through Standards Australia and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), focuses on how we can move from vague ‘ethics principles’ for artificial intelligence to more concrete controls for reliable and fair AI systems.    

Before becoming involved with standards development, Prof Bennett Moses first learned about standardisation from reading a PhD thesis.  

“It was about the role of standards in law-making for technology, which is interesting because standards aren’t law but they play a big role in regulation. And despite this, lawyers don’t learn about standards - they’re not in the syllabus.”

Now, in her role as Director at the UNSW Allens Hub and co-lead of the Law and Policy theme in the Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre and Faculty lead in the UNSW Institute for Cyber Security, Prof Bennett Moses is researching the relationship between technology and law.

This includes the types of legal issues that arise as technology changes, how these issues are addressed in Australia and other jurisdictions, and the problems of treating “technology” as an object of regulation. Recently, she has been working on legal and policy issues associated with the use of artificial intelligence (with a book co-authored with Dr Michael Guihot and published by LexisNexis: Artificial Intelligence, Robots and the Law).

From her experience and contributions so far, Prof Bennett Moses says standards play an important role in supporting technology and cyber security.

“When you look at ethics frameworks, there’s a looseness to it. It’s very easy to say that accountability, transparency and doing good are integral – and no one would disagree with this – but that doesn’t tell you where the red lines lie or how to ensure that, for example, systems meet appropriate fairness metrics. That’s why legislation is incredibly important, and why we need standards that help organisations make decisions around the systems they design or use,” Prof Bennett Moses said.  

On her proudest achievement in her time with standards development, Prof Bennett Moses referred to her contributions as national Chair to technical working group IT-043-01 Foundational Standards, the mirror to ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 42 Working Group 1, which addresses artificial intelligence.

“Through this work, I was able to put not only my input into artificial intelligence standards, but broader Australian input as well. I had the opportunity to discuss ideas and hear from local industry, academia, consumer perspectives, and others on what within the standards would support them.”  

In addition to her work detailed above, Professor Bennett Moses is a member of the editorial boards for journals including Technology and Regulation; Law, Technology and Humans; Journal of Cross-Disciplinary Research in Computational Law; and Law in Context. She is on the NSW Information and Privacy Advisory Committee, the Executive Committee of the Australian Chapter of the IEEE’s Society for the Social Implications of Technology and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law.  

"Professor Bennett Moses’ work is, and will continue to be, largely influential. We are grateful for individuals like her, working almost ahead of their time, to protect our way of life,” said Adrian O’Connell, Chief Executive Officer at Standards Australia.