Liberty and AI for all

Boston leads the way on local government AI adoption. Will anyone follow?

When you think of your local government, the term “high-tech” might not be the first to spring to mind (we were thinking “fax machine”).

Liberty and AI for all

But Boston is proving us wrong. Last week, it became the first city to introduce official guidelines on government use of generative AI, per Wired.

In addition to making Google Bard available to all city employees, the guidelines:

  • Offer example prompts and scenarios in which AI could assist city officials
  • Explain how AI can help translate between languages
  • Encourage the use of AI for summarizing long pieces of text

The documents also warn employees to fact-check all AI-generated content, disclose if they’ve used AI in their work, and not share any private information when writing prompts.

Not all cities are on the AI bandwagon

Officials in New York City, Los Angeles Unified, Seattle, and Baltimore School Districts have either banned or blocked access to generative AI tools, fearing the ramifications for plagiarism and critical thinking.

Italy even banned ChatGPT over privacy concerns, the first Western country to do so.

But some are already coming around…

… with New York City recently announcing its reversal of the generative AI ban in schools.

In a memo, NYC Schools Chancellor David Banks wrote that “the knee-jerk fear and risk overlooked the potential of generative AI to support students and teachers.”

Now back to important things: Will Boston’s next AI breakthrough speed up the line at Dunkin’?

Only time will tell.

Topics: Ai

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