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N.J. Unveils AI Training, Tool for State Government Workers

The state has been an early adopter of artificial intelligence, and is now equipping staff with the skills and knowledge they need to leverage AI securely. Training is free and voluntary.

A hand touches a robotic hand as lightbulb emerges between them over dark blue background.
A new tool in New Jersey, the NJ AI Assistant, empowers state employees to use generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) — while a companion training program ensures they have the skills to do so responsibly.

The state has proven to be a leader in AI governance, establishing an AI task force in October and releasing a policy in November to guide state employees’ AI use. Officials have since launched an AI hub to advance responsible AI development and appointed Beth Simone Noveck to serve as the state’s first chief AI strategist. Noveck has underlined Gov. Phil Murphy’s commitment to train the public workforce on how to safely use AI.

In a similar vein, Oklahoma recently partnered with Google to provide AI training to Oklahomans. But New Jersey’s program, launched Wednesday, is unique in that it specifically targets state government employees. The NJ AI Assistant uses GenAI in what the state deems a secure “sandbox” environment. To ensure its security, the tool is hosted on state infrastructure with heightened security and privacy protections. The tool does not use state data to train the model.

As a key part of this launch, the state has also unveiled a GenAI training course, created in partnership with InnovateUS, to inform employees on how the technology can be used responsibly and in alignment with state policies.

This course was designed with consultation from federal, state, industry and academic leaders as well as the public-sector workforce, to do several things: offer an overview of GenAI, outline best practices, and relay strategies for mitigating bias and other risks.

“Generative AI is evolving in real time, and now our public workforce will be on the forefront of advancing this technology and helping to realize its boundless potential to build a better New Jersey,” Noveck said in a news release.

Through the training — which is free, self-paced and voluntary for employees — participants will get to experience firsthand how GenAI can be used to make public information more accessible using plain language. The NJ AI Assistant tool lets employees safely test use cases that are demonstrated in the training course.

Some departments have already begun using what the state terms GenAI; the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development has worked with the Office of Innovation to use AI for rewriting emails in plain language. This has helped the state respond 35 percent faster. The New Jersey Division of Taxation has also leveraged AI in call analysis, to improve self-service menu options — resulting in a 50 percent increase in the number of calls that were resolved.

The NJ AI Assistant and the training course stem from Murphy’s Executive Order 346, which called for the development of policies that would govern responsible use of AI by the state. The launch of the tool and training, the governor said in the news release, puts New Jersey “on the cusp of a new era of government transformation.”