Newsom signs executive order to study uses, risks of generative AI in California

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed an executive order Wednesday directing the state to study the potential uses and risks of generative artificial intelligence (AI) — a subset of AI, like ChatGPT — that generates novel text, images and other content.

“This is a potentially transformative technology — comparable to the advent of the internet — and we’re only scratching the surface of understanding what [generative AI] is capable of,” Newsom said in a statement.

“We recognize both the potential benefits and risks these tools enable,” the governor added. “We’re neither frozen by the fears nor hypnotized by the upside. We’re taking a clear-eyed, humble approach to this world-changing technology.” 

Newsom’s executive order directs state agencies and departments to draft a report examining potential beneficial uses of generative AI tools, as well as their potential risks, within the next two months.

The California Cybersecurity Integration Center and California State Threat Assessment Center are also meant to perform a joint risk analysis focusing specifically on potential threats to the state’s critical energy infrastructure from the use of generative AI by next March.

Newsom directed several state agencies and departments to issue guidelines for adopting and using generative AI in the public sector by January and to develop recommendations for evaluating the impact of such tools on vulnerable communities by next July.

By next March, the California Department of Technology is meant to establish infrastructure for conducting generative AI pilot projects, which all state agencies will start considering by next July.

Newsom also wants to establish formal partnerships with leading generative AI research institutions in the state, including UC Berkeley’s College of Computing, Data Science, and Society and Stanford University’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence.

Tags Artificial Intelligence Artificial intelligence California California Gavin Newsom Gavin Newsom generative artificial intelligence