Gov. Sanders launches AI working group

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 308 views 

Gov. Sarah Sanders on Wednesday (June 26) launched a working group to study and offer recommendations for the safe use of artificial intelligence (AI) within Arkansas state government.

“AI is already transforming the face of business in America, and Arkansas’ state government can’t get caught flat-footed,” Sanders said. “As we work to find efficiencies within state government, AI can play a role, with appropriate guardrails, in improving our level of service to Arkansans while keeping costs low. At the same time, we must prevent the misuse of AI to protect Arkansans. This working group will build the knowledge base we need to achieve those goals safely.”

The AI & Analytics Center of Excellence (AI CoE), a subcommittee of the Data and Transparency Panel (DTP), will be established through a subcommittee of the DTP during the group’s second quarter meeting on June 27, 2024, and will be chaired by Robert McGough, Arkansas’ chief data officer.

The working group will study, assess, and provide recommendations for policies, guidelines, and best practices for the ethical, effective, and safe use of AI across Arkansas state government.

In addition to providing guidelines for the safe use of AI, the AI CoE will review and evaluate a set of pilot projects to encourage learning about AI and its potential risks, and to craft best practices for the safe potential implementation of the technology.

The AI CoE’s comprehensive guidelines will encompass the following initial considerations: accountability (trust and accuracy), appropriate data sets, autonomy, bias, ethical use, intellectual property ownership, privacy and security, and transparency.

The following two projects have been identified as initial AI use cases for the AI CoE, meeting criteria such as data availability, demonstrable value, alignment with state priorities, stakeholder buy-in, and secured funding:

  • Unemployment Insurance Fraud (Division of Workforce Services)
  • Recidivism Reduction (Arkansas Department of Corrections)

The AI CoE will exist for one year from its date of establishment unless extended or terminated by the governor, will meet monthly, and will provide an initial report to the governor by Dec. 15, 2024, on the progress of its pilot use cases and proof-of-concept projects, focusing on efficiencies, cost savings, safety, and economic development.