IMAA unveils collective principles for the ethical use of AI

The Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA) has launched a set of ‘AI Guiding Principles’, officially outlining the industry association’s collective approach to the ethical use of artificial intelligence (AI).

The 10 guiding principles, designed in collaboration with members and Australian AI agency AirStack, encompass the IMAA’s overarching vision for AI use amongst its members, stipulating a best practice approach for ethics, processes and client relations in the ever-evolving AI landscape.

Sam Buchanan, CEO, IMAA

IMAA CEO, Sam Buchanan, described the principles as “landmark moment for the national independent media sector”, reflecting on the association’s effort to empower agencies to embrace AI responsibly.

“We know AI is going to fundamentally change the media landscape; the technology is already predicted to deliver nearly $6.6 trillion in productivity by 2030, while breakthroughs in generative AI have the potential to drive a 7% increase in global GDP,” said Buchanan.

“Given AI’s rapid evolution, we believe it is crucial that we collaborate and unite to face the emerging opportunities, and the challenges, presented by AI. By aligning on the principles that will help govern AI use, particularly our commitment to ethics, trustworthiness and transparency, we’re promoting our members and protecting their reputation.”

He spoke to the importance of levelling the playing field for indie agencies when it comes to AI innovation, with the AI Guiding Principles hoped to “provide opportunities for members to share their learnings and challenges”, while also “delivering AI-related education” to upskill talent.

The IMAA’s AI Guiding Principles are as follows:

  1. Set a strong ethical foundation: AI solutions should uphold standards of fairness, inclusivity and transparency, and respect national human rights and cultural values.

  2. Aim for human-centric amplification: AI should be approached as a tool to augment and enhance human potential, not replace it. AI should be harnessed to improve human creativity, agility, capacity and capabilities.

  3. Maintain transparent processes: agencies need to be transparent with clients and customers about their AI processes.

  4. Provide continuous learning and collaboration: agencies are encouraged to regularly share insights, challenges and solutions, and leverage the collective intelligence of the IMAA to stay abreast of AI advancements and best practices.

  5. Ensure equal opportunities: the approach to AI should focus on creating a level playing field for all Australian independent media agencies, regardless of their size and resources.

  6. Provide safety, reliability and confidence: an agency’s AI tools should be rigorously tested and secured to safeguard from potential vulnerabilities.

  7. Ensure strong data privacy and protection measures: agencies should prioritise data privacy and protection by adhering to national regulations and establishing internal guidelines, while also training their teams on best practices for handling data.

  8. Align actions to Australian values and net social outcomes: agencies should ensure their AI driven operations support the Australian economy & are tailored to resonate with the nation’s unique media landscape.

  9. Ensure client collaboration and responsiveness to feedback: agencies should set opportunities for open dialogue and respond to feedback and guidance from stakeholders.

  10. Take proactive stances on regulation and policy: agencies should stay informed on wider policy discussions, and regularly seek to update and implement new processes.

The new principles launch after the IMAA last month debuted a refreshed board in the first major change to the industry body’s leadership since its 2020 launch.

In November, the IMAA rolled out an Audio101 module as part of its IMAA Academy e-learning program.


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