Mayor Bowser signs order outlining AI plan for DC government

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser signed an executive order Thursday that outlined how she plans to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into local government agencies.

“We are going to make sure DC is at the forefront of the work to use AI to deliver city services that are responsive, efficient, and proactive,” Bowser said in a statement. “With these guiding values, we will make sure that when we use AI, we are responsible and we use it in a way that aligns with our DC values.”

The mayor’s announcement said agencies plan to use AI to improve city services and increase efficiency. They also hope to better manage and analyze data and “create a more effective and inclusive government.”

As AI technology is rapidly developed and used by the public, members of the government are attempting to create guidelines and regulations, as well as use the emerging technology to their advantage.

Bowser’s order said the D.C. government will create an advisory group that will ensure public oversight of AI efforts will be done in a way that has a clear benefit to residents and is conducted with safety, equity, accountability, transparency, sustainability and privacy in mind.

The local government will also create a task force of government personnel to work with various agencies and produce “key governance policies, procedures and documents” throughout the rest of the year. Each D.C. agency will create AI strategic plans over the next three years, which will be overseen by the Office of the Chief Technology Officer.

The government also plans to create AI training at the agency level and create processes that preserve privacy and cybersecurity as the agencies begin to use AI, the announcement said.

Stephen Miller, the interim chief technology officer, said his office is at the forefront of harnessing AI’s capabilities for government services and that he looks forward to the potential that AI has in “improving government services for the benefit of all residents in Washington, DC.”

The announcement was held at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center. The D.C. government uses Microsoft 365 in its work and said it is ready to use the company’s Azure AI Government Cloud in the future. The executive order is effective immediately.

Bowser’s order comes just months after President Biden signed a sweeping executive order that focuses on seizing the emerging technology and managing AI’s risks.