Newsom administration releases GenAI report

SACRAMENTO — On Tuesday, November 21, the Newsom Administration released a report outlining the state’s opportunities to use Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) while highlighting potential harms. This is the first of several expected reports and deliverables required by the Executive Order the Governor issued two months ago.

“This is an important first step in our efforts to fully understand the scope of GenAI and the state’s role in deploying it. We’re taking a nuanced, measured approach – understanding the risks this transformative technology poses while examining how to leverage its benefits,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom.

What’s in the report

  • Provides a preliminary analysis of risks and high-risk use cases, while still reaping the economic and transformative benefits of GenAI;
  • Examines how the state could prioritize tools to expand program access, improve the speed of ongoing work, summarize and classify information, and utilize complex datasets, and highlights the importance of secure, controlled pilots in doing so;
  • Highlights potential uses for improving accessibility to government services, including identifying groups that – for language barriers or other reasons – are disproportionately not accessing services for which they are eligible;
  • Describes the potential GenAI risks, noting that the issues must be addressed to ensure that Californians will collectively benefit from this technology.

Next steps

The Governor’s Executive Order also directs the state to develop:

  • Risk-Analysis Report: Direct state agencies and departments to perform a joint risk-analysis of potential threats to and vulnerabilities of California’s critical energy infrastructure by the use of GenAI.
  • Procurement Blueprint: To support a safe, ethical, and responsible innovation ecosystem inside state government, agencies will issue general guidelines for public sector procurement, uses, and required training for application of GenAI – building on the White House’s Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights and the National Institute for Science and Technology’s AI Risk Management Framework. State agencies and departments will consider procurement and enterprise use opportunities where GenAI can improve the efficiency, effectiveness, accessibility, and equity of government operations.
  • Deployment and Analysis Framework: Develop guidelines for agencies and departments to analyze the impact that adopting GenAI tools may have on vulnerable communities. In consultation with stakeholders and the Legislature, the state will establish the infrastructure needed to conduct pilots of GenAI projects, including California Department of Technology approved environments or “sandboxes” to test such projects.
  • State Employee Training: To support California’s state government workforce and prepare for the next generation of skills needed to thrive in the GenAI economy, agencies will provide trainings for state government workers to use state-approved GenAI to achieve equitable outcomes, and will establish criteria to evaluate the impact of GenAI to the state government workforce.
  • GenAI Partnership and Symposium: Establish a formal partnership with the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University to consider and evaluate the impacts of GenAI on California and what efforts the state should undertake to advance its leadership in this industry. The state and the institutions will develop and host a joint summit in 2024 to engage in meaningful discussions about the impacts of GenAI on California and its workforce.
  • Legislative Engagement: Work with Legislative partners and engage key stakeholders in a formal process to develop focused policy recommendations, informed by EO deliverables, for responsible use of AI, including any guidelines, criteria, reports, and/or training.
  • Evaluate Impacts of AI on an Ongoing Basis: Periodically evaluate for potential impact of GenAI on regulatory issues under the respective agency, department, or board’s authority and recommend necessary updates as a result of this evolving technology.

“California can pioneer thoughtful and innovative approaches to GenAI adoption in state government,” said Secretary Amy Tong, who led the multi-agency team to deliver the report following two months of intensive consultation with academic, government, and community stakeholders and industry experts. “Through careful use and well-designed trials, we will learn how to deploy this technology effectively to make the work of government employees easier and improve services we provide to the people of California.”

“California is home to 35 of the world’s top 50 AI companies,” said Dee Dee Myers, Senior Advisor to the Governor and Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). “We’ll continue leading this industry and lifting up workers in the AI economy to create even more demand for businesses to locate and hire here in California.”

“Through responsible planning and implementation, GenAI has the potential to enhance the lives of Californians,” said Liana Bailey-Crimmins, Director of the California Department of Technology. “The State is excited to be at the forefront of this work.  With streamlined services and the ability to predict needs, the deployment of GenAI can make it easier for people to access government services they rely on, saving them time and money.”

(Gov. Newsom’s Office Release) n

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