Executive order calls for study on AI use in state government

Published On: September 6, 2023

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday (9/6/23) signed an executive order aimed at preparing California for the advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in state government.  The executive order calls for the state to study the risks and benefits of using AI, focusing on ethics, transparency, and trust while maintaining California’s position as a global AI leader.

Executive Order N-12-23 says that Generative Artificial Intelligence (“GenAI”) represents a significant leap forward in technology “which will transform the way that the State and the world conduct business and serve the public.”

“This is a potentially transformative technology – comparable to the advent of the internet – and we’re only scratching the surface of understanding what GenAI is capable of. We recognize both the potential benefits and risks these tools enable. We’re neither frozen by the fears nor hypnotized by the upside,” said Newsom in an announcement. “We’re taking a clear-eyed, humble approach to this world-changing technology. Asking questions. Seeking answers from experts. Focused on shaping the future of ethical, transparent, and trustworthy AI. Doing what California always does – leading the world in technological progress.”

Key provisions of the executive order include a risk analysis of potential GenAI threats to critical energy infrastructure, procurement guidelines for responsible GenAI adoption, a report on beneficial GenAI uses and associated risks, and the development of guidelines to assess GenAI’s impact on vulnerable communities, according to a press release. Additionally, state employees will receive training to harness GenAI for equitable outcomes, and partnerships with renowned institutions will foster a deeper understanding of GenAI’s implications.

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