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Gov. Newsom Orders Calif. to Study AI

California will study AI development, use and risks over the next year, under a Wednesday executive order by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). “This is a potentially transformative technology -- comparable to the advent of the internet -- and we’re only…

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scratching the surface of understanding what [generative AI] is capable of,” said Newsom. “We recognize both the potential benefits and risks these tools enable. We’re neither frozen by the fears nor hypnotized by the upside.” The EO directs state bodies to do a joint risk analysis of possible threats to and vulnerabilities of the state’s critical infrastructure by generative AI. Also, agencies must issue general guidelines for procurement, uses and required training for the technology, it said. State entities must report on benefits, harms and risks, including for vulnerable communities, while agencies will train government workers to use state-approved generative AI. The EO also sets up a partnership with the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University to study generative AI impacts on California. The EO also envisions engaging the legislature and stakeholders to develop policy recommendations for responsibly using AI. The state seeks to shape “the future of ethical, transparent, and trustworthy AI,” said Newsom.