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Governor Forms AI Panel to Determine Best Practices for State Government

2 min read

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Wednesday announced a working group to study and offer recommendations for the safe use of artificial intelligence in 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 in a press release.

The AI & Analytics Center of Excellence will be formally established as a subcommittee of the Data and Transparency Panel at the panel’s quarterly meeting Thursday. The AI group will be chaired by Robert McGough, the state’s chief data officer.

The 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 group 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, according to the release. The group’s guidelines will encompass accountability, trust and accuracy, appropriate data sets, privacy and security, autonomy, bias, ethical use, intellectual property ownership and transparency.

The state has identified initial AI use cases for unemployment insurance fraud, which is investigated by the Division of Workforce Services, and recidivism reduction, a goal of the Department of Corrections. The use cases meet criteria for data availability, demonstrable value, alignment with state priorities, stakeholder buy-in and secured funding, the release said.

The group will provide an initial report to Sanders by Dec. 15 on the progress of its pilot use cases and proof-of-concept projects.

The group will meet monthly for one year, unless Sanders decides to shorten or extend that timeline.

“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,” Sanders said. “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.”

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