CURRENT MONTH (September 2023)

Capturing California’s Progress in the World of Generative Artificial Intelligence: Executive Order N-12-23

By DaJonna Richardson, J.D. Candidate, Class of 2024, University of Colorado Law School

California is leading the nation in the exploration of artificial intelligence. California has hopes to lead the nation in development, use, and managing risks of artificial intelligence (AI) technology throughout the state and to develop a deliberate and responsible process for evaluation and deployment of AI within state government.

On September 6, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued executive order N-12-23, officially announcing the state’s journey into artificial intelligence. Key provisions of the executive order encourage the state legislature and stakeholders to develop policy recommendations on evaluating impacts of use of AI by the state on an ongoing basis, create state employee training, and pursue generative AI partnerships with Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley. Finally, the order uses the Biden administration’s AI Bill of Rights as a basis for a framework to focus on protecting individuals and communities from algorithmic discrimination in California. Governor Newsom released a statement, noting: “This is a potentially transformative technology—comparable to the advent of the internet—and we’re only scratching the surface of understanding what Gen[erative] AI is capable of. We recognize both the potential benefits and risks these tools enable. 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. Asking questions. Seeking answers from experts. Focused on shaping the future of ethical, transparent, and trustworthy AI. Doing what California always does—leading the world in technological progress.” The order directs state agencies and other departments to complete a risk-analysis report on deployment of generative AI tools by the state within sixty days, or by early November 2023.

The executive order mentions that California is home to thirty-five of the world’s top fifty artificial intelligence companies. This is likely the reason why the state is seeking to harness generative AI technologies because it is seeking to leverage its private and public institutions for the benefit of California residents.


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