Following Governor Newsom’s September 2023 Executive Order on Artificial Intelligence, the California’s state administration released a report analyzing the potential benefits and risks surrounding the use of Generative Artificial Intelligence (“GenAI”) within the state government (“Report”). This is the first of many steps called for under the Executive Order.

On the one hand, the Report examines the potential benefits of GenAI with a focus where it may be used to improve access to and delivery outcome of government essential goods and services. In doing so, the Report outlines several beneficial GenAI use cases for state government, including to, improve the performance, capacity, and efficiency of ongoing work, research, and analysis through summarization and classification; personalize and customize work products to California’s diversity of people; improve language and communications access in multiple languages and format; find insights and predict key outcomes in complex datasets to empower and support decision-makers; and optimize workloads for environmental sustainability. Such harnessing of GenAI should be guided by certain principles, including, ensuring usage limited to state-provided tools on state-approved equipment, supervision of the output’s accuracy, as well as provision of appropriate disclosures when used and clear explanation of how it is used.

On the other hand, the Report assesses the risks posed by GenAI across different industries, including but not limited to, risks stemming from bad actors, insufficiently guarded governmental systems, and unintended or emergent effects of the technology. As such, while highlighting the economic and transformative benefits brought by GenAI, the Report specifically underlines the need to take into consideration the potential risks in terms of validity and reliability, safety, government accountability and transparency, security and resiliency, explainability and interpretability, privacy, and fairness.

Recognizing California as a global leader in technology and innovation, the Report highlights the state’s opportunity and responsibility to lead in this industry that is experiencing exponential growth and development. Finally, the state government explicitly recognizes that this Report marks only the beginning of a much broader and ongoing conversation about the benefits and risks of this potentially transformative technology.

For further information please refer to the Report available at: https://www.govops.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2023/11/GenAI-EO-1-Report_FINAL.pdf