Work with Purpose | Episode #84 | 22 May 2023

EPISODE #84 | How is Australia's public sector using generative AI?

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly being used by public services globally, including in Australia, to improve policy-making and program creation. AI has immense potential to transform how the public sector functions and serves communities, from streamlining copywriting to providing strategic advice. However, there are risks and limitations associated with using AI, such as privacy breaches, accountability issues, and bias concerns.

In this episode of Work with Purpose, Caroline Walsh, CEO of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) ACT hosts a conversation that explores the potential and challenges of using generative AI in the Australian public sector. Sally Bayley-Nelson, manager of the AusIndustry Insights team, and Anthony Murfett, head of division for Technology and Digital at the Department of Industry, Science and Resources, share their experiences using generative AI tools for their work and discuss the benefits and limitations of the technology. They also talk about the risks that the public sector needs to be mindful of when working with AI and the importance of putting guardrails in place to regulate its use.

Discussed in this episode:

  • Use of generative AI: benefits and limitations in the workplace
  • Risks in using generative AI in the public sector and regulatory guardrails
  • How AI suggests regulating itself: thoughts and missing points
  • Best practices and hopes for AI in the public sector's future.


Anthony Murfett
Anthony Murfett is the head of division for Technology and Digital at the Department of Industry, Science and Resources in Australia. In this role, he provides policy advice to the government, oversees the delivery of programs, and engages domestically and internationally on critical and enabling technologies, as well as the digitization of the economy. Previously, Anthony served as the inaugural deputy head of the Australian Space Agency, where he was responsible for establishing the agency and overseeing its strategy, policy, and day-to-day operations.

Sally Bayley-Nelson
Sally Bayley-Nelson manages the AusIndustry Insights team at the Department of Industry, Science and Resources in Australia. The team provides insights about the challenges and opportunities faced by Australian businesses to inform the design of policy and programs. Before joining the department, Sally worked on the Delivering Great Policy project at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. She has also held a range of roles across the climate change and defence portfolios.




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IPAA ACT acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

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ABN: 24 656 727 375
Phone: (02) 6154 9800
Unit 4A, 16 National Circuit,
Barton ACT 2600

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Kingston ACT 2604

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