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Pennsylvania state government will prepare to start using A.I. in its operations

Heather and Mary chat about AI finding its way into the classroom
Heather and Mary chat about AI finding its way into the classroom 02:35

Pennsylvania state government will prepare to use artificial intelligence in its operations, Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro said Wednesday, as states are increasingly trying to gauge the impact of A.I. and how to regulate it.

Shapiro, speaking at a news conference at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, said his administration is convening an A.I. governing board, publishing principles on the use of A.I. and developing training programs for state employees.

Pennsylvanians will expect state government to understand A.I., adapt to A.I. and ensure that it is being used safely in the private sector, Shapiro said.

"We don't want to let A.I. happen to us," Shapiro said. "We want to be part of helping develop A.I. for the betterment of our citizens."

Shapiro's administration plans to start a two-year fellowship program to recruit A.I. experts who can help agencies incorporate it into their operations. He said the state's public safety agencies have already begun consulting with A.I. experts to prepare for any A.I.-driven threats, such as fraud.

The governing board of senior administration officials will be asked to guide the development, purchase and use of A.I., with the help of Carnegie Mellon faculty, the administration said.

Among state policymakers nationwide, AI is a growing area of concern. States including Wisconsin, Texas, Louisiana, North Dakota and West Virginia have taken action to study some of the effects of A.I.

In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this month signed an executive order to study the development, use and risks of A.I., and lawmakers in at least 25 states have introduced bills that address it, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.

In Pennsylvania, lawmakers have introduced several bills on A.I., including a pair to study its impacts on the state.

One bill would allow caseworkers to use it to help determine someone's eligibility for a government program and to detect fraud. Another would create a registry of companies that make software containing algorithmic logic for use in automated calls, voice or text prompts online.

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