New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Chief Technology Officer Matthew Fraser announced Monday (Oct. 16) the release of the city’s new Artificial Intelligence (AI) Action Plan.
This comprehensive initiative is the first for a major U.S. city. It will help protect against the potential risks of AI while developing tools and knowledge to help city government employees effectively and responsibly use AI technology to improve the quality of life for New Yorkers.
The initiative focuses on developing a framework to evaluate AI tools and their associated risks, building AI knowledge and skills for government employees, and supporting the responsible implementation of AI technology. Adams stated in a released statement, “While artificial intelligence presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to more effectively deliver for New Yorkers, we must be clear-eyed about the potential pitfalls and associated risks these technologies present. I am proud to introduce a plan that will strike a critical balance in the global AI conversation — one that will empower city agencies to deploy technologies that can improve lives while protecting against those that can do harm.”
As part of the plan, the city has piloted the first citywide AI chatbot to help business owners navigate government. This chatbot will implement the MyCity Business site, an all-in-one resource for applications, permits, licenses and related information needed to open and operate a business in New York City. This AI technology will save business owners time and money by providing them with actionable and trusted information from over 2,000 NYC Business web pages and articles.
First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright expressed her support for the AI Action Plan, saying, “The AI Action Plan exemplifies how the Adams administration is using the technology of tomorrow to better serve New Yorkers today. This framework will help city agencies take advantage of AI’s potential to better deliver vital services while protecting New Yorker’s privacy and concerns about bias.”
The AI Action Plan also establishes an external advisory network to consult with stakeholders in government, industry, academia, and civil society to ensure safe and responsible implementation of AI. In addition, the city has created an AI-specific procurement process to ensure contracting is conducted safely. The overall plan has 37 key actions, 29 of which will be finished or implemented within the next year.
New York joins other governmental agencies seeking to put regulations in place amid a rapidly shifting and changing AI industry. The U.S., European Union and China are among the countries either debating or forming rules.