News, Oregon, technology

Gov. Kotek announces Oregon AI council

In the technology and business world, the sudden rise of generative artificial intelligence tools now accessible to consumers and businesses has gripped Silicon Valley and companies large and small.

Now, the state of Oregon is taking notice, and at Governor Tina Kotek’s direction, a newly formed Oregon State Government AI Advisory Council has been tasked with developing recommendations for its utilization across state government.

“Artificial intelligence is an important new frontier, bringing the potential for substantial benefits to our society, as well as risks we must prepare for,” Governor Kotek said in a press release. “This rapidly developing technological landscape leads to questions that we must take head on, including concerns regarding ethics, privacy, equity, security, and social change. It has never been more essential to ensure the safe and beneficial use of artificial intelligence – and I look forward to seeing the work this council produces. We want to continue to foster an environment for innovation while also protecting individual and civil rights.”

While the tech world has long seen a boom and bust cycle of technologies that have seen enormous hype but failed to deliver on that promise, such as crypto or (so far) the so-called metaverse, AI has shaped up to be different. It has seen immediate use in businesses, schools, governments, and by consumers with tools like ChatGPT, DALL·E, Adobe’s growing suite of video and photo editing tools that utilize generative AI, and more changing how business is done at a scale and speed rarely seen.

Oregon’s newly formed council, formed by the signing of Executive Order 23-26, will consist of no more than 15 members, including the Oregon State Chief Information Officer, who will chair the council, the Oregon State Chief Data Officer, a representative from the Governor’s Racial Justice Council, the Department of Administrative Services Cultural Change Officer, and an additional agency representative to be appointed by the Governor.

Kotek may appoint up to eight other members to the council, and the rest of the members will be rounded out with a representative from the Oregon Senate and the Oregon House of Representatives, each appointed by their respective Senate or House leader.

The group will be tasked with providing a recommended action plan framework no later than six months from their first meeting, the date of which has not yet been announced. After 12 months from the first meeting, the group will give a final recommended action plan.

“The action plan will aim to maximize potential benefits of ethical and effective artificial intelligence implementation and adoption, along with thoughtful governance and standards to mitigate risk and address privacy, ethics, and equity. The goal will be to ensure Oregon has clear usage policies that outline the acceptable use of AI tools, providing transparency, uplifting diversity, equity, and inclusion, and protecting personally identifiable information and other sensitive information,” the press release read.

Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

Sign up for Banks area news in your inbox ↓

The groceries your family needs!