California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday addressing the state’s approach to artificial intelligence, or AI, technologies going forward.
Newsom’s order aims to regulate the use of AI to protect the state from its potential harms and harness its benefits, according to an announcement from the governor’s office. The announcement adds that California is a “global hub” for generative AI, or AI capable of generating media, and Newson intends the state to remain a leader in the field.
“We recognize both the potential benefits and risks these tools enable,” Newsom said in the announcement. “We’re neither frozen by the fears nor hypnotized by the upside. We’re taking a clear-eyed, humble approach to this world-changing technology.”
The campus College of Computing, Data Science, and Society, or CDSS, as well as Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, or HAI, will be involved in the development of the state’s AI policies through a formal partnership with the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development and the Government Operations Agency.
CDSS Assistant Dean of Communications Tiffany Lohwater said the school’s partnership with California agencies will focus on analyzing the broader effects of generative AI and considering efforts the state can take to advance its leadership in the field. The agencies will host a joint summit in 2024 with CDSS and HAI as a part of this collaboration.
“With world-leading academic institutions engaged alongside government, nonprofit organizations, and industry, there is a unique opportunity to ask questions, facilitate cross-disciplinary discussion, and contribute to analysis and recommendations,” Lohwater said in an email.
Trevor Darell, co-director of Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research, or BAIR, said he believes this executive order sets a “useful blueprint” for future AI-related collaborations with the state government. He added that his organization’s research has had a focus in democratizing access to AI, and they support the goals of Newsom’s order.
On Sept. 6, experts from HAI made an announcement emphasizing their commitment to analyzing the impact of AI on “vulnerable communities,” potential threats to infrastructure and the technology’s uses in state government.
In the order, Newsom called upon several state agencies to draft reports on the useful deployment of generative AI in the state, as well as its risks, within 60 days. By January 2024, the Government Operations Agency, the California Department of General Services and others are ordered to issue guidelines for public sector uses of generative AI, expanding upon the White House’s Blueprint for an Al Bill of Rights and the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Al Risk Management Framework.
“Thoughtful, responsive governance at the beginning of a technology’s lifecycle can maximize equitable distribution of the benefits, minimize adverse impacts and abuse by bad actors, and reduce barriers to entry into emerging markets,” Newsom wrote in the order.