Governor Signs Bill to Create AI Inventory

Published On: October 20, 2023

Among his final legislative actions for 2023, Gov. Newsom signed AB 302 by Assemblymember Christopher Ward (D-San Diego) which calls for the California Department of Technology to develop a comprehensive inventory of automated decision systems (ADS) used in state programs by September 1, 2024.

“AB 302 would ensure that Californians have transparency into the government’s use of high-risk ADS and provide state agencies with the information to analyze their use of high-risk ADS,” says the bill’s author in a committee analysis. “By requiring the CDT to establish guidelines identifying ADS that have a high-risk of adverse impacts and conduct an inventory of those high-risk ADS, this bill will help state agencies identify and minimize the risk of adverse and discriminatory impacts that result from their design and implementation of ADS.”

The legislation defines an ADS “to mean a computational process derived from machine learning, statistical modeling, data analytics, or artificial intelligence that issues simplified output, including a score, classification, or recommendation, that is used to assist or replace human discretionary decision-making and materially impacts people”, says the analysis.  An ADS does not include a junk mail filter, firewall, antivirus software, identity access management tools, database, or data set.

The bill has a one-time cost of approximately $3.28 million and ongoing annual costs of $2.04 million to create and update the ADS inventory and annual report to the Legislature.

Meanwhile, Gov. Newsom has issued an executive order for his administration to study the current use, potential, and impact of artificial intelligence in government.  The first deadline, sixty days from when the order was issued on September 6, calls for a report to be drafted by the Government Operations Agency, California Department of Technology, Office of Data and Innovation, and Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development “examining the most significant, potentially beneficial use cases for the deployment of GenAI tools by the State,” as well as the potential risks to individuals, communities, and government agencies, with a focus on automated decision making related to benefits, goods, and services.

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