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Hochul to address AI development in state of the state address

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  • Staff Report 

Governor Kathy Hochul is set to shed light on the future of artificial intelligence (AI) in her upcoming State of the State address in January. Hochul and her team have been holding discussions with AI experts, both inside and outside of government, with a focus on the regulation of this rapidly-evolving technology and its potential effects on the state’s workforce. “The governor will release a bold comprehensive policy agenda in January,” confirmed a spokesperson from Hochul’s office.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

Earlier this week, Hochul announced a $20 million initiative to further AI research within the state at the SUNY’s inaugural AI Symposium at UAlbany. The governor hinted at the creation of a state task force to evaluate optimal AI utilization and its potential ramifications. A more detailed plan for this task force is expected to be unveiled in her executive budget proposal in early 2024. Despite the growing significance of AI, the technology currently lacks a dedicated line item in the state budget.

The rapid progression of AI has sparked concerns and discussions among state officials. At an Assembly hearing in Albany, lawmakers deliberated on AI’s implications on the labor force. While AI offers quicker decision-making capabilities, it presents challenges such as copyright issues, privacy threats, and inherent biases. “We need checks and balances for it,” emphasized Christopher Ford from the Public Employees Federation. Although Hochul expressed optimism about AI not affecting job security in the state, union leaders highlighted the potential risks AI poses to employment, emphasizing the importance of human accountability in decision-making processes.

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