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New York City unveils AI action plan to boost responsible technology use

1 Mins read
  • New York City takes a pioneering step with its AI Action Plan, striving for responsible AI integration. The plan includes an AI Steering Committee, public engagement, and a user-friendly AI chatbot. It balances the power of AI with caution, aiming to enhance lives while mitigating risks and biases.

New York City Mayor, Eric Adams, has revealed the Action plan for the city’s use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). This move, which is a first-of-its-kind initiative in a major U.S. city, aims to ensure the responsible use of AI in the governance. The plan’s primary goal is to ensure AI’s integration in a manner that improves the lives of New Yorkers.

The plan, which is outlined in a 51-page document, comprises 37 key actions, with a majority of the plans set to be implemented within the next year. The action plan includes the establishment of an AI Steering Committee, public listening sessions to gather citizen concerns, annual progress reports on AI, and the creation of a public website offering AI resources.

We are embracing AI but with responsible governance,” stated Mayor Adams, emphasizing the need to strike a balance between harnessing AI’s potential and being cautious about its possible risks. The city recognizes the importance of understanding potential biases and discrimination that AI may inadvertently perpetuate, especially in areas like policing and housing.

One notable step is the introduction of an AI-powered chatbot on the official NYC website, designed to assist business owners and entrepreneurs. The chatbot, which is powered by Microsoft’s Azure AI, is trained on a wealth of NYC Business web pages, providing immediate and specific support.

The plan addresses the need for AI literacy across various roles in public service, acknowledging that understanding AI is essential, not just for technical staff, but for all public servants who engage with AI tools.

Read also: LinkedIn Announces Layoffs Amidst AI-Powered Transformation

NYC’s tech sector is also evolving, with AI becoming a priority. The city’s tech industry now surpasses its finance sector, highlighting the relevance and necessity of AI in modern urban landscapes. The government believes that strategic AI integration can help in better decision-making and service delivery, particularly in crucial areas like affordable housing allocation.

Responding to fears that may arise from the announcement, the Mayor said:

We know the term AI can cause anxiety, you hear it all the time. People think all of a sudden you’re going to have a Terminator-type figure come in and take over government and displace human beings,” Adams said. “That’s just not the reality. Take a deep breath, get a grip. It’s going to help us function better in the city.

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When I'm not reading about tech, I'm writing about it, or thinking about the next weird food combinations to try. I do all these with my headphones plugged in, and a sticky note on my computer with the words: "The galaxy needs saving, Star Lord."
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