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Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly Implements Statewide AI Policy

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced yesterday that she has directed executive branch agencies to adopt a statewide policy on generative AI that outlines how the technology can be used safely.

Image of a woman's hand activating an AI button
A new policy for the state of Kansas outlines how artificial intelligence technology can be used responsibly within state government.

State and local governments across the country have quickly responded with a spectrum of policies around the rapidly emerging technology. In Boston and Seattle, interim AI guidance was introduced to ensure safe staff experimentation with the tools. San Jose also released generative AI guidelines this month, warning that searches are subject to the California Public Records Act. In Maine, such tools were banned outright — at least temporarily.

The Kansas policy, which was created and introduced by the Kansas Office of Information Technology Services, outlines how this emerging technology can be used while protecting state information.

“We have only scratched the surface in our understanding of what this technology can do,” said Interim Chief Information Technology Officer and Chief Information Security Officer Jeff Maxon in an announcement. “With the adoption of this policy, it allows agencies to safely explore how we can use generative AI to enhance our work and, ultimately, better serve Kansans.”

This will be the state’s primary governing document for the usage of generative AI or related activity, including the development of software code, written documentation, correspondence, research and other areas.

The policy states that AI-generated responses must be reviewed for accuracy, appropriateness, privacy and security before being disseminated or acted upon.

For security purposes, the policy also underlines that state information and restricted use information may not be provided when interacting with generative AI tools. Software code that is generated by these tools can only be implemented after the entity has assessed, identified and mitigated all security concerns related to use. If software code created by generative AI tools is used, its use must be annotated.

Notably, some parts of the policy apply to contractors that state agencies work with. When agencies work with contractors, agencies must require that those contractors disclose any use of generative AI or integrations with such platforms in their contracts. Contractors are also prohibited from using any confidential or restricted data in queries with generative AI tools, as well as in the building up or training of generative AI programs. Explicit approval must be obtained before any such use.

“With the adoption of this policy, Kansas serves as a model for what an enterprising, effective government can do to stay at the forefront of technological advancements,” said Kelly in the announcement.