Legislation to create state AI advisor moving forward

by | Sep 11, 2019

The director of the California Department of Technology will have authority to hire a new advisor on the uses of artificial intelligence (AI) in state government if the governor approves a measure that earlier this week passed both houses of the Legislature.   The new position will advise the department on “incorporating artificial intelligence into state information technology strategic plans, policies, standards, and enterprise architecture.”

AB 594 by Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) was originally intended to create a new position Chief AI Officer for the State of California but the bill was amended in August to downgrade the position as an advisor to the director and department.

The bill also calls for the CDT director to adopt guidelines to govern the use and implementation of AI in state government, in consultation with the Future of Work Commission.

According to the latest analysis, this bill:
1) Provides that the Director CDT may designate a position within CDT to
evaluate the uses of AI in state government and to advise the director on
incorporating AI into state information technology strategic plans, policies,
standards, and enterprise architecture.
2) Requires CDT, by January 1, 2021, in consultation with relevant stakeholders
and in consideration of the recommendations of the Future of Work
Commission, to adopt guidelines to govern the use and implementation of AI
technologies in state government functions.
3) Requires the guidelines to include standards for all of the following:
a) The ethical use of AI to benefit the public good.
b) Identifying projects and project components to increase efficiency.
c) Incorporating new and emerging technologies.
d) Utilizing AI to benefit workers.

The legislation follows Executive Order N-11-19 issued by Gov. Newsom to establish the Commission whose purpose is to study and make recommendations related to the impact of technology on work, workers, employers, government, and society.

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