NYC mayor unveils responsible AI plans for local government, prioritizing accountability

The administration of New York City Mayor Eric Adams has recently unveiled a comprehensive plan for the adoption and regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) within the local government. Alongside this plan, the government has also introduced new AI integration into city applications.

In an announcement on October 16, the administration provided an update on the plan, stating that they are in the process of developing a framework that will allow city agencies to evaluate AI tools and their associated risks in a careful manner. The primary objective of this framework is to enhance the knowledge and skills of government employees regarding AI technologies, ultimately leading to an improvement in the quality of life for local residents.

This ambitious plan consists of 37 “key actions,” with 29 of them expected to begin or be completed within the next year. Among the goals outlined in the plan are establishing a framework for AI governance, creating an AI advisory network, providing city officials with AI knowledge and skills training, and publishing an annual AI progress report. Mayor Adams emphasized the significance of approaching AI opportunities with clear-eyed awareness of the risks it poses while highlighting the potential for the government to deliver enhanced services to its citizens more effectively.

In addition to the AI framework announcement, an update regarding New York City’s MyCity Business platform was also made. The platform now features the pilot version of the city’s first AI chatbot. This AI chatbot aims to assist individuals with questions related to opening or operating a business. Maria Torres-Springer, the city’s deputy mayor for housing, economic development, and workforce, commended the chatbot implementation, deeming it an important milestone in making the government more accessible to everyone. She stated that the tool would remove barriers to city resources, potentially benefiting small businesses throughout New York.

The new AI chatbot possesses the capability to retrieve information from over 2,000 NYC business-related web pages. Users can access information such as compliance with codes and regulations, available business incentives, and best practices to avoid violations and fines. By providing this easily accessible resource, the government aims to empower and support business owners in their operations.

Interestingly, New York City is not the only governmental entity utilizing AI technology. In September, it was revealed that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) plans to build and deploy its AI bot, similar to ChatGPT, for investigations. The chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, confirmed that the SEC also utilizes AI technology for monitoring the financial sector to detect fraudulent activities and market manipulations. These examples illustrate the widespread adoption of AI technology across different sectors for various purposes beyond New York City’s initiatives.

In conclusion, the administration of Mayor Eric Adams in New York City has set forth an extensive plan for the adoption and regulation of AI within the city’s government. This plan aims to carefully evaluate and leverage AI tools while also enhancing the knowledge and skills of government employees. The integration of AI technologies, such as the AI chatbot in the MyCity Business platform, demonstrates the government’s commitment to providing accessible resources and support to local residents and businesses. As AI continues to play an increasingly significant role in various sectors, it is crucial for governments to establish frameworks and governance structures to maximize its benefits while mitigating potential risks. This initiative by the NYC administration sets a precedent for responsible AI use and governance in the public sector.

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