Artificial intelligence (AI) policies becoming a priority

As artificial intelligence (AI) solutions are increasingly adopted in municipal government, the need for policies governing interactions and uses of these technologies has grown.

There is little doubt that local governments can benefit from using AI solutions like ChatGPT, but their use also exposes municipalities to a wide range of risks. Moreover, it also starts to raise questions that elected officials and administrators may not be ready (or able) to answer at this time.

Some of the fundamental risks or questions an AI Policy seeks to address include:

  • Ethics – how is the potential for bias managed and/or mitigated?
  • Disclosure & transparency – how does decision-making occur? Can users explain how the technology arrived at the proposed decision?
  • Governance – how will AI solutions be governed in terms of development, usage and accountability?
  • Data security – which data and information sources are used? Are they secure and maintained to ensure there is no tampering our outside influence?

For example, many of today’s job application software and services use AI to pre-screen candidate submissions. Are organizations aware of how the suitability of candidates is determined?

All levels of government, including municipalities across Alberta, are already thinking about their relationship and interactions with AI, and some are taking steps to put it into policy.

For more information, please contact danb [at] (Dan Blackburn), Senior Director of Growth and Innovation.