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New Jersey Unveils AI Policy to Guide Use by State Employees

The state of New Jersey now has a new policy to guide the use of generative AI by state employees; this closely follows the state’s creation of the Artificial Intelligence Task Force last month.

Image shows New Jersey Capitol building
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has announced the release of a new policy to guide the use of generative AI by state employees.

The policy, announced Nov. 17, will build on other work that the state has undertaken in this space. This includes the establishment of the Artificial Intelligence Task Force in October 2023. That task force, which was created by an executive order, aims to create a report assessing potential impacts of AI and offering recommendations for government to guide the ethical use of the technology.

“Providing this guidance is just the first step to empowering our public workers to leverage innovative technologies like artificial intelligence by ensuring that our public professionals can use these powerful tools responsibly and confidently,” Murphy said in the announcement.

Alongside the new policy, the state Office of Innovation has released an explanatory video in collaboration with InnovateUS, aiming to help guide public-sector professionals in their use of AI.

This video, according to the announcement, is only the first offering in what is slated to be extensive training available for the state's workers about development, use and risks related to AI. Additional training is expected to launch next year to support state employees, including a free, self-paced AI training program and live workshops. The self-paced training program is also the result of collaboration between InnovateUS and the state Office of Innovation.

“Generative artificial intelligence has the potential to unlock new opportunities for the public sector … . In order to realize that potential, we must invest in training public workers to use emerging technologies in a responsible, equitable and secure manner,” said Chief Innovation Officer Beth Simone Noveck, in the announcement.

The new policy aims to ensure that generative AI tools are used appropriately by state employees, and with transparency. It also ensures that generative AI tools’ outputs are independently fact-checked. Finally, it ensures that no confidential or protected information is shared or disclosed.

Included in Executive Order 346 is the direction for the state Office of Information Technology to develop policies that will help govern and facilitate the use of AI technologies by state departments and agencies. The policy announced on Friday fulfills this direction of the order.