Pennsylvania government workers will start using ChatGPT in test program

The state of Pennsylvania will deploy OpenAI’s enterprise ChatGPT service in a pilot program to help state employees do administrative work. 

The pilot begins this month and will be limited to an unspecified number of Pennsylvania’s Office of Administration employees, but it could be expanded to other state workers in the future, a press release from Governor Josh Shapiro said. The state says it will consider feedback from the initial batch of employees before it releases another 100 licenses to access ChatGPT Enterprise.

“Our goal with the pilot is to work closely with a small number of employees to figure out where we can have the greatest impact using generative AI tools,” said Neil Weaver, secretary of Pennsylvania’s Office of Administration. 

Pennsylvania plans to use ChatGPT Enterprise “for tasks such as creating copy, making outdated policy language more accessible, drafting job descriptions to help with recruitment and hiring, [and] addressing duplication and conflicting guidance” in employee policy as well as for coding.

The pilot program aims to find ways to use generative AI to improve services for citizens. The state reiterated that access to ChatGPT would be limited to state workers, and Pennsylvania residents would not interact with the tool directly when dealing with government services. It plans to take lessons from the initial launch to identify other agencies that might benefit from generative AI. 

This is the first state pilot program for ChatGPT Enterprise. “Our collaboration with Governor Shapiro and the Pennsylvania team will provide valuable insights into how AI tools can responsibly enhance state services,” OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said in the statement. 

ChatGPT Enterprise, launched in August last year, is OpenAI’s enterprise-grade program that gives users more control over their data and security. Shapiro’s office said no government or resident data will be used to train the GPT-4 model. 

Pennsylvania is one of the few states that has announced plans intending to explore the uses of AI in state governance. Shapiro issued an executive order in September to explore how the state can use AI. It established the Generative AI Governing Board, which recommended the pilot program with OpenAI. 

While states like Pennsylvania embrace generative AI, some states plan to limit the use of generative AI in government services. A California lawmaker filed a bill prohibiting unvetted AI companies from contracting with state agencies this month. 

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