RI Governor Unveils Vision for AI Task Force’s Future in State

Rhode Island has announced the creation of a new artificial intelligence task force, a move initiated by former Representative Jim Langevin through an executive order last March. In a recent episode of StateScoop’s Priorities podcast, Governor Dan McKee shared insights into the formation of the task force and its objectives. The discussion highlighted the dual nature of artificial intelligence, underscoring both its potential benefits and its risks, particularly in terms of security.

“There’s two sides of this coin — there is a really positive side of AI, and there’s a potentially damaging side of AI. So we have to get ahead of it on security reasons,” Governor McKee pointed out. His comments reflect a growing awareness and concern among policymakers about the rapid development of AI technologies and their implications for society. The task force is seen as a crucial step in preparing the state to harness the advantages of AI while safeguarding against its threats.

A significant aspect of Rhode Island’s push towards a more structured engagement with AI is the introduction of a chief data officer position. This role is expected to spearhead the state’s data management and governance efforts, ensuring that Rhode Island can effectively leverage AI and other digital technologies for public service improvement. Governor McKee expressed optimism about what the new task force, together with the chief data officer, can achieve in the next six months. The initiative is part of a broader strategy to place Rhode Island at the forefront of state-level innovation in AI governance and application.

Listeners interested in exploring the latest developments across state and local government technology communities can find more episodes of the Priorities podcast released every Thursday. Available on platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Soundcloud, and Spotify, the series offers insights into various facets of technology implementation and policy-making at the state and local levels.

The establishment of Rhode Island’s AI task force comes at a time when governments worldwide are grappling with the challenges and opportunities presented by artificial intelligence. By adopting a proactive approach, the state aims to set a precedent for how local governments can engage with AI technologies in a responsible and beneficial manner. As AI continues to evolve and influence different sectors, the work of task forces like the one in Rhode Island will be critical in navigating the complex landscape of digital innovation.


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