Published on November 20, 2023, 12:28 pm

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy recently unveiled a new policy and training video aimed at guiding state employees in the responsible use of generative artificial intelligence (AI). Generative AI utilizes deep-learning models to produce high-quality text, images, and other content based on user prompts. With the increasing adoption of this technology, it is essential to establish guidelines for its ethical application.

The policy advises state employees to experiment with different prompts while fact-checking the generated content. To ensure transparency, employees are expected to label content that has been created using generative AI. Furthermore, sensitive or private information, such as personally identifiable information, should not be used as prompts for AI models.

In collaboration with InnovateUS, a program at Northeastern University that assists government agencies in curriculum development, New Jersey’s Office of Innovation has produced an explainer video to help state employees better understand how generative AI can be effectively integrated into their daily work. The video will be followed by comprehensive training sessions scheduled for next year. These trainings will cover topics including the development, usage, and risks associated with generative AI.

To provide practical examples, the policy provides a list of recommended and prohibited use cases for generative AI across various areas such as drafting memos, public communication, translation services, summarization of data, and generating images, audio, and video content. By adhering to these guidelines and incorporating the shared values of empowerment, inclusion, transparency, innovation, and risk management outlined by Governor Murphy’s administration in his news release.

This new policy comes on the heels of the establishment of an AI task force in New Jersey. Created through an executive order issued last month, this task force aims to develop policies governing the use of AI technologies throughout governmental agencies in the state. Its members are tasked with researching emerging AI technologies and assessing their potential impacts on society. Additionally they will provide recommendations to promote ethical usage within government operations.

New Jersey is not alone in its efforts to address generative AI; many other states are also actively researching and developing internal policies for the technology. Kansas, for example, has already created flexible guidelines to accommodate evolving advancements in generative AI. This proactive approach taken by various states signifies the recognition of the potential benefits and risks associated with this innovative technology.

Governor Murphy emphasized that providing guidance on responsible usage is just the first step towards empowering public workers to leverage emerging technologies like artificial intelligence. By ensuring that these powerful tools are used responsibly and confidently, New Jersey hopes to remain at the forefront of technological advancements while prioritizing ethics and transparency in its public services.

As more states recognize the potential of generative AI and implement their own policies governing its use, it is evident that a collective effort is underway to harness its benefits while mitigating any potential risks. Through well-defined guidelines and comprehensive training programs, governments can equip their employees with the knowledge and skills required to navigate the rapidly evolving landscape of generative AI.

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