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Alabama Governor Creates Task Force for Responsible AI Adoption

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey is aligning with national trends on AI regulation, establishing a task force via executive order to examine the current and future applications of the technology in state government.

The Alabama state Capitol Building in Montgomery.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey recently joined a growing list of governors focused on AI regulation with an executive order that establishes a measured path forward for generative AI in state government.

Executive Order 738 was signed on Thursday, creating the Task Force on Generative Artificial Intelligence, an appointed task force that will consist of seven cabinet members; two representatives from Alabama higher education and four legislators, including two state representatives and two state senators.

Ivey first alluded to the new order in her State of the State address earlier this week with a quip, “I’m not going to stand here and preach like I know a lick about AI,” adding, “I do know that new technologies can have benefits, but if not used responsibly, they can be dangerous.” She ended the statement by saying the state of Alabama would soon take definitive steps to ensure that AI is being used effectively in Alabama.

The group is tasked with analyzing and assessing risks of generative AI across executive branch agencies and must submit a report with policy and administrative recommendations to the governor by Nov. 30.

“The state of Alabama is a pioneer in the development and use of advanced technologies, from manufacturing nanotechnology to empowering mankind to walk on the moon,” Ivey said in a press release. “In that innovative spirit, GenAI represents a monumental step forward in the potential for our state government to serve the public. However, its capabilities must first be studied to ensure it is implemented in the most responsible and efficient manner possible.”

Under Executive Order 738, the Alabama Office of Information Technology (OIT) will also institute a new cloud infrastructure that will serve as a platform for state agencies to safely conduct AI-related pilot projects in approved environments. These OIT-designated environments will be accessible to state agencies and departments, providing a method to jointly assess tools and services.

The order also specifies, “All state executive branch agencies should consider pilot projects of GenAI applications in consultation with experts from state government, academia and industry. These pilot projects should measure how GenAI can improve Alabamians’ experience with government services and how GenAI can support state employees in the performance of their duties."

According to The Council of State Governments, roughly 17 states have enacted 29 bills focused on regulating the development and use of artificial intelligence since 2019 with two primary focal points — data privacy and accountability.