NYC Releases Plan to Embrace AI, and Regulate It

Article by Sarah Holder: “New York City Mayor Eric Adams unveiled a plan for adopting and regulating artificial intelligence on Monday, highlighting the technology’s potential to “improve services and processes across our government” while acknowledging the risks.

The city also announced it is piloting an AI chatbot to answer questions about opening or operating a business through its website MyCity Business.

NYC agencies have reported using more than 30 tools that fit the city’s definition of algorithmic technology, including to match students with public schools, to track foodborne illness outbreaks and to analyze crime patterns. As the technology gets more advanced, and the implications of algorithmic bias, misinformation and privacy concerns become more apparent, the city plans to set policy around new and existing applications…

New York’s strategy, developed by the Office of Technology and Innovation with the input of city agency representatives and outside technology policy experts, doesn’t itself establish any rules and regulations around AI, but lays out a timeline and blueprint for creating them. It emphasizes the need for education and buy-in both from New York constituents and city employees. Within the next year, the city plans to start to hold listening sessions with the public, and brief city agencies on how and why to use AI in their daily operations. The city has also given itself a year to start work on piloting new AI tools, and two to create standards for AI contracts….

Stefaan Verhulst, a research professor at New York University and the co-founder of The GovLab, says that especially during a budget crunch, leaning on AI offers cities opportunities to make evidence-based decisions quickly and with fewer resources. Among the potential use cases he cited are identifying areas most in need of affordable housing, and responding to public health emergencies with data…(More) (Full plan)”.