Here’s How States Are Regulating AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is poised to transform the world and how we live, work, and communicate. AI has the potential to create significant opportunities for government transformation, enabling greater efficiency while improving the accuracy and effectiveness of decision-making and service delivery.

For county governments, AI can mean streamlined processes, enhanced services, improved public safety and security, fraud detection and prevention, data analytics, and regulatory compliance. Perhaps most importantly, this rapidly evolving technology can revolutionize resident engagement and input.

However, implementing and regulating AI comes with challenges, including concerns about privacy, security, oversight, equity, accessibility, bias, et cetera. So, as local governments explore AI’s transformative power, many questions remain.

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) released a new report, “Approaches to Regulating Artificial Intelligence: A Primer,” highlighting the current landscape of AI regulation in the US, the advantages and risks of deploying AI in specific sectors like human resources, criminal justice, and financial services, and considerations for policymakers as they determine how best to balance privacy concerns with enabling innovation and enhancing services with AI.

Developed with input from NCSL’s Task Force on Cybersecurity and Privacy Work Group, a bipartisan group of 34 state legislators and five legislative staff, the report encourages policymakers to consider and assess the appropriate role of state government in regulating AI and the extent to which states and the federal government can collaborate to create evidence-informed policy.

According to NCSL:

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • Proposed language for defining AI, a summary of current state legislation and federal activity regulating AI, and examples of leading private sector frameworks for governing the technology.
  • Policy considerations regarding international, federal and state activity surrounding the growth and use of AI so that state policymakers can determine how best to capture benefits and mitigate risks for their citizens.
  • Benefits and risks of using AI in certain sectors, such as financial services, criminal justice, employment and transportation.

The report was written by NCSL staff Erlinda Doherty, Susan Frederick, and Heather Morton.

Read the full report here.

As previously reported on Conduit Street, MACo Summer Conference attendees got expert guidance on the future of rapidly developing technologies, best practices to define and validate government IT strategies, and tips for mitigating risk without inhibiting innovation.

In addition, the National Association of Counties (NACo) launched an AI Exploratory Committee to explore emerging policies, practices and potential applications, and consequences of AI through the lens of county government governance, operations, constituent services, innovation, public trust, privacy, and security, and workforce productivity.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.