Guiding Governors on Artificial Intelligence

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Like any new technology, artificial intelligence (AI) offers a tremendous opportunity to improve society. But, like any new technology, AI has potential pitfalls. In the absence of federal regulation, governors are doing their part to minimize risks and maximize benefits.

“In this ever-evolving world, ensuring that new technologies are both safe and effective is an important public safety measure. Today, that new technology is artificial intelligence, perhaps better known as AI. And Look, I’m not going to stand here and preach like I know about AI. However, I know that new technologies can have benefits, but they can be dangerous if not used responsibly. We Going to make sure that AI is used properly.

Governor Kay Ivey, 2024 State of the State

Public interest in AI has skyrocketed since June 2022, as evidenced by Google searches on the topic.

Guiding Governors on Artificial Intelligence 2

Governors are leading the charge to ensure responsible and productive use of technology. Beginning in August 2023, executive orders and other state executive branch activities began in Alabama, California, Colorado, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee. have gone , Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

“Whatever AI dominates the industry will dominate the next era of human history. That’s what we can do here in New York… That’s why I propose the Empire AI Consortium buy and share AI computing power right here in New York.” With this new consortium, we will advance ethical AI development and do it in a way that protects our workers and makes it a force for good in the world.

Governor Kathy Hochol, 2024 State of the State

Just in the past few weeks, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced that the state is partnering with GATC Health to accelerate the discovery of safer and more effective drugs using GATC’s artificial intelligence platform. An important program can be started. Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee issued an executive order to create a single state data governance structure, and Massachusetts Governor Maura Haley issued an executive order calling for the Massachusetts AI Strategic Task Force to “study AI and GenAI technology. including its impact on the state” respects its employees, constituents, private businesses and institutions of higher education.

“Today, with AI, I believe we are at the beginning of a new era, just as we were thirty years ago, with the Internet… and it is time to start thinking and acting about creative AI. Here in New Jersey, we’re announcing an AI Moonshot… With New Jersey’s AI Moonshot, our mission is for our state’s top minds to create one of AI-driven breakthroughs over the next decade. Start the series, which will change the lives of billions. Better our state government will be a catalyst to bring together innovators and leaders to invest in research and development, and ultimately, make New Jersey powered by AI. Will establish as a home base for game changers.

Governor Phil Murphy, 2024 State of the State

A common thread in all these efforts is ensuring that the use of AI is “responsible, ethical, beneficial, and reliable.” Adopting an approach that “balances innovation with safety, security, and privacy” while guarding against “new generations of risks, harms, and the perpetuation of existing inequalities.” In his 2024 State of the State address, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee outlined the legislation he is proposing to offer protections for content creators:

“Part of expanding economic opportunity is protecting working Tennesseans. From the birthplace of country music in Bristol to Nashville’s Music Row and Memphis’ Bell Street, music has been woven into the fabric of our state since its inception. It’s also an important industry that employs tens of thousands of Tennesseans. Tennessee’s music industry workforce has grown 21 percent over the past five years. Today, we’re #1 in the nation for music industry jobs. state. Unfortunately, Tennessee artists face new challenges with the rise of artificial intelligence. While this new AI technology can be used for good, it also allows users to impersonate others in their voices and likenesses. and allows counterfeiting. So, this year, along with members of the General Assembly, I am proposing legislation to protect Tennessee’s rich musical heritage and ensure that no Neither could steal the voice of Tennessee artists.”

Governor Bill Lee, 2024 State of the State

NGA is working to support governors as they work to realize the benefits and mitigate the risks of AI. At the 2024 NGA Winter Meeting, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum led a discussion with technology pioneer Marc Andreessen on harnessing the benefits of AI to enhance U.S. competitiveness while protecting consumers from risk. During the session, Governor Greg Gianforte of Montana, Governor Spencer Cox of Utah, Governor Glenn Youngkin of Virginia and Mark Gordon of Wyoming also shared insights on what their states are doing to implement effective AI policies.

NGA has also held a series of briefings on AI, including: Using Data and Technology to Improve the Criminal Justice System, Reflections on Artificial Intelligence in New York City Government and Legal and Regulatory Issues for States Related to Artificial Intelligence Reservations. NGA also conducted two webinars offering an introduction to artificial intelligence in state government and mitigating the risks of AI in state government. To maintain America’s competitiveness, the country needs policies and programs that promote innovation, while protecting against potential downsides, and once again the governor is leading the way.

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