California announces 6-month trial of generative AI tools inside state government

The California Government Operations Agency on Thursday announced the state is partnering with five companies to evaluate their tools for customer service, health care facility inspections, highway traffic management, public safety and language accessibility, over a six-month trial period.

The state said it will pay each company $1 to test its technology in a secure, isolated testing environment. The “sandbox” is intended to allow vendors and state officials to assess the technologies and make changes before taking the tools public.

According to the announcement, the generative AI tools will be tested using the state’s open data.

“We are now at a point where we can begin understanding if GenAI can provide us with viable solutions while supporting the state workforce,” Amy Tong, government operations secretary, said in the announcement. “Our job is to learn by testing, and we’ll do this by having a human in the loop at every step so that we’re building confidence in this new technology.”

The project is part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 2023 executive order requiring the state to explore responsible ways to use generative AI by this summer. Several state agencies that in January requested generative AI tools will be tasked with testing them.

The California Department of Transportation requested software that can identify risky areas on the state’s roadways and monitor interventions designed to make roads safer. It also asked for generative AI tools that can help reduce highway congestion.

“With an average of 12 Californians dying on our roadways every day, we need to use every tool available to end the roadway crisis and reach our goal of zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2050,” California Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin said of the announcement. “Today represents an important step in exploring how GenAI can help save lives.”

The Department of Tax and Fee Administration plans to test AI at its call centers, while the state’s Health and Human Services Agency plans to evaluate tools that help non-native English speakers navigate state websites. The Department of Public Health plans to assess generative AI software that helps the agency better document health care facility inspections and create processes that meet state and federal requirements.

The California Department of Technology will work departments and vendors to evaluate “the accuracy, security, and privacy of their solutions to refine any necessary technology requirements during this process,” according to the announcement. At the end of the six-month trial period, the Office of Data and Innovation is tasked with assessing whether the state should buy any of the AI tools.

Written by Sophia Fox-Sowell

Sophia Fox-Sowell reports on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and government regulation for StateScoop. She was previously a multimedia producer for CNET, where her coverage focused on private sector innovation in food production, climate change and space through podcasts and video content. She earned her bachelor’s in anthropology at Wagner College and master’s in media innovation from Northeastern University.

Originally Appeared Here

You May Also Like

About the Author: Rayne Chancer