New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has unveiled a new policy to promote state employees’ responsible use of generative artificial intelligence (AI).

“New Jersey’s public sector professionals are absolutely essential to ensuring that the Garden State leads the nation as the best place in this country to live, work, and raise a family,” said Gov. Murphy. “We must continue to invest in our public sector workforce and equip them with the tools, skills, and knowledge to deliver best-in-class services to our residents, businesses, and institutions.”

“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,” the governor said.

The new policy follows Gov. Murphy’s creation of an Artificial Intelligence Task Force last month. Alongside the policy’s release, the New Jersey Office of Innovation collaborated with InnovateUS to produce an explainer video to help New Jersey’s public sector professionals better understand how generative AI can be responsibly incorporated into their day-to-day work.

The state said the explainer video will be followed by more extensive training for New Jersey’s state workforce about the development, use, and risks of AI. Additional training is slated to launch next year, with the New Jersey Office of Innovation collaborating with InnovateUS to launch a free, at-your-own pace AI training program and live workshops targeted to state workers.

“Generative artificial intelligence has the potential to unlock new opportunities for the public sector to engage with residents at scale, effectively use data in new ways, communicate more inclusively, and deliver more effective and equitable services to New Jerseyans,” said Beth Simone Noveck, the State of New Jersey’s chief innovation officer. “In order to realize that potential, we must invest in training public workers to use emerging technologies in a responsible, equitable, and secure manner.”

As part of the executive order that created the AI task force, the Office of Information Technology was also tasked with developing policies to govern and facilitate use of artificial intelligence technologies by Executive Branch departments and agencies. The governor’s office said the new policy fulfills this aspect of the executive order and “will provide the foundation for future policies developed in consultation with industry, academic, and government experts to reflect the latest technological developments.”

Specifically, the new policy focuses on empowering government employees to use generative artificial intelligence tools, while ensuring that use of the tools is appropriately disclosed and transparent, that all outputs are independently fact-checked, and that no confidential or protected information or data is shared or otherwise disclosed.

“Protecting the privacy of residents and the security of state government systems is paramount,” said New Jersey State Chief Technology Officer Chris Rein. “Generative AI is rapidly being used, adopted, and leveraged, and while we see Generative AI’s incredible potential to uplift communities and connect them with valuable State resources and services, we must ensure we’re using these technologies in a manner that’s equitable, safe, and secure.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs