California Advances in Generative AI with New Report

The Newsom Administration released an insightful report in response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order from September 2023. This report focuses on the utilization and potential challenges of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) within the California state government. As the first in a series of planned publications, it marks a significant step in the state’s journey to harness and regulate this emerging technology.

Governor Newsom emphasized the importance of this undertaking, highlighting the need for a comprehensive understanding of GenAI. He pointed out that the state’s approach must balance the risks and benefits of this transformative technology. The report offers a nuanced perspective on GenAI, analyzing the economic and transformative benefits while identifying potential risks and high-risk use cases.

The document discusses strategies for the state to improve access to programs, enhance the speed of ongoing work, and effectively manage complex data sets through the use of GenAI. It emphasizes the importance of conducting secure, controlled pilot programs for effective implementation. Additionally, the report identifies potential applications of GenAI in enhancing the accessibility of government services, especially for groups facing barriers such as language.

State officials, including Secretary Amy Tong, highlighted California’s role as a pioneer in adopting GenAI in government functions. Dee Dee Myers, a Senior Advisor to the Governor, underscored California’s leadership in the AI industry and its commitment to fostering a robust AI workforce. Liana Bailey-Crimmins, Director of the California Department of Technology, discussed the potential of GenAI to improve service delivery and predictive capabilities for Californians.

Looking ahead, the Governor’s Executive Order includes directives for conducting a Risk-Analysis Report on California’s critical energy infrastructure and developing a Procurement Blueprint to guide safe and ethical GenAI applications in state operations. The state also plans to create a Deployment and Analysis Framework to evaluate the impact of GenAI on vulnerable communities and initiate State Employee Training programs to prepare the workforce for the GenAI economy. Additionally, a GenAI Partnership and Symposium are to be formed in collaboration with UC Berkeley and Stanford University. Legislative engagement is planned to develop policy recommendations for AI usage, with periodic assessments of the impact of GenAI on regulatory matters.

The report also emphasizes the importance of education and training in GenAI, responding to its anticipated impact on the global job market. It cites a projection by Goldman Sachs that GenAI could affect 300 million jobs worldwide and suggests incorporating AI education in vocational and higher educational institutions. This aligns with recent studies on AI’s potential impact on employment, including a report by the OECD.

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