Legislation Proposes New CDT Office of Artificial Intelligence

Published On: February 10, 2023

The California Department of Technology will have a new Office of Artificial Intelligence with “powers and authorities necessary to guide the design, use, and deployment of automated systems by a state agency,” if Senate Bill 313 (Dodd- D) is passed by the Legislature.   Proposed this week, the bill has basic language that will likely be amended with more details.  The purpose appears to be aimed at preventing bias and promoting “equitable outcomes for Californians.”

In 2021, Assembly Bill 13 proposed to create the Automated Decision Systems Accountability Act to eliminate algorithm bias in state IT projects. Opposed by the technology industry and lacking support from enough legislators, the bill failed final passage to become law.

A related measure also introduced this year is AB 302, which would require the Department of Technology to conduct, on or before September 1, 2024, a comprehensive inventory of all high-risk automated decision systems, as defined, that have been proposed for use, development, or procurement by, or are being used, developed, or procured by, state agencies.

The legislative  summary  for SB 313 says:

Existing law establishes within the Government Operations Agency the Department of Technology, under the supervision of the Director of Technology, also known as the State Chief Information Officer. Existing law requires the director to, among other things, provide technology direction to agency and department chief information officers to ensure the integration of statewide technology initiatives, compliance with information technology policies and standards, and the promotion of the alignment and effective management of information technology services. This bill would establish, within the Department of Technology, the Office of Artificial Intelligence, and would grant the office the powers and authorities necessary to guide the design, use, and deployment of automated systems by a state agency to ensure that all AI systems are designed and deployed in a manner that is consistent with state and federal laws and regulations regarding privacy and civil liberties and that minimizes bias and promotes equitable outcomes for all Californians. The bill would make related legislative findings and declarations.  (Based on text date 2/6/2023)

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