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Santa Cruz County approves policy for use of AI among employees

Wired Wednesday: Reviewing concerns and risks over A.I.
Wired Wednesday: Reviewing concerns and risks over A.I. 02:33

SANTA CRUZ – Santa Cruz County employees will have ongoing guidance for the use of artificial intelligence on the job thanks to a new policy adopted by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

The board unanimously approved the new Artificial Intelligence Appropriate Use Policy, which county officials say is among the first of its kind for a local government.

"The policy allows and encourages the continued use of artificial intelligence in County operations while providing guidelines to avoid misuse and the sharing of sensitive information, and to continue to center human judgment in core decisions related to local government operations," county officials said in a news release Tuesday.

The policy focuses on data privacy and security, informed consent, responsible use, accountability and avoiding bias, among other things.

The county's AI Policy Committee will also craft guidelines for purchasing AI systems, identify existing county software systems that use AI and find staff training opportunities.

Staff will report back to the board in March 2024 on the policy's rollout.

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