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When Building an AI Strategy, Start With the Guardrails

States are starting to hire experts to navigate both the opportunities and the trickier aspects of AI. Maryland's Nishant Shah says job No. 1 is establishing a set of principles that set the foundation for everything else.

Maryland AI Adviser Nishant Shah.
Government Technology/David Kidd
Nishant Shah is joining a small, but growing, club of AI specialists in government. Named in August by Maryland Gov. Wes Moore to join the team of Secretary and CIO Katie Savage as its inaugural senior adviser for artificial intelligence, Shah previously held AI roles with a couple of major private-sector players, in addition to a stint with the federal government. GT interviewed Shah at the NASCIO annual conference earlier this month.

1. What brought you to this role with the state of Maryland?

2. How is AI changing the way we work? Where is there more potential for AI in government?

3. What are your action items as you dig into this role?

Noelle Knell is the executive editor for e.Republic, responsible for setting the overall direction for e.Republic’s editorial platforms, including Government Technology, Governing, Industry Insider, Emergency Management and the Center for Digital Education. She has been with e.Republic since 2011, and has decades of writing, editing and leadership experience. A California native, Noelle has worked in both state and local government, and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history.
Lauren Kinkade is the managing editor for Government Technology magazine. She has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and more than 15 years’ experience in book and magazine publishing.