Governor Murphy Initiates Statewide AI Task Force
As the world hurtles into the era of Artificial Intelligence (AI), New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has taken a strategic step by establishing a state AI Task Force. The new initiative aims to study AI technologies, and their societal implications, and to lay down recommendations for the ethical adoption of AI in the state.
The Garden State, recognized for its commitment to innovation, has already seen many of its enterprises and startups become leaders in the AI domain. With the increasing relevance of AI across sectors, the Task Force's mission is clear: ensure New Jersey's AI applications are equitable, accessible, and beneficial for all its citizens.
Governor Murphy stated, “New Jersey has consistently been at the forefront of technological innovation and growth. As AI continues to evolve rapidly, we aim to harness its capabilities for the greater good of our state, fostering both economic growth and societal equity. This Task Force will delve deep into understanding the multifaceted growth and inherent risks of AI.”
In addition to the Task Force, Governor Murphy announced a pioneering initiative: free AI training for the state's workforce. Spearheaded by the New Jersey Office of Innovation and in partnership with InnovateUS, this training program will empower state employees with knowledge about AI's development, usage, and associated risks.
Beth Simone Noveck, the State of New Jersey's Chief Innovation Officer, commented, “Generative AI is poised to be a transformative tool for government service delivery. With today's announcement, New Jersey is leading the way by preparing our government's professionals to enhance the equitable delivery of government services to New Jersey's residents, businesses, and institutions,”
The AI Task Force will comprise a diverse group of experts, including the Chief Technology Officer from the Office of Information Technology, the Chief Innovation Officer from the Office of Innovation, and the CEO of the Economic Development Authority.
Other members will encompass officials from various state departments and offices. This ensemble will collaborate with industry stalwarts, academic specialists, consumer champions, and innovative government officials to formulate their recommendations.
Chris Rein, New Jersey's Chief Technology Officer, expressed his enthusiasm, “We recognize the immense potential of generative AI as a powerful tool to elevate our Executive Branch agencies' services. Our approach to implementing this technology in state government is marked by careful attention to security, resident data privacy, equitable access, and stringent bias prevention measures. We are committed to ensuring that NJ residents benefit from these advancements while upholding our values.”
Tim Sullivan, CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, highlighted New Jersey's inherent strengths, “New Jersey, with its highly-educated technology talent pool and legacy in innovation, is well positioned for national leadership in AI."
To bolster the statewide AI objectives, multiple state departments will shoulder responsibilities:
- The Economic Development Authority will investigate AI's role in job creation, economic expansion, and as a tool for employers to amplify training, especially for the underprivileged.
- The Office of the Secretary of Higher Education will assess AI as a research avenue for state academic institutions.
- The Office of Information Technology will establish an AI usage policy for Executive Branch entities and evaluate AI tools to refine government services.
The Task Force, post-appointment, will convene upon the Governor or Co-Chairs' request. Within a year from the order's enactment, the Co-Chairs will present their findings and suggestions to the Governor. This report will be concurrently shared with the Legislature and the general public.