AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Legislature may move forward with creating a new group to study how useful or risky AI systems can be in state government.
The Texas House state affairs committee will meet Wednesday morning to discuss a bill introduced by Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake, that would create a new seven-person AI advisory council for the state. Hearings on this bill and a number of other bills will begin at 10:30 a.m. and will be live streamed on the House website.
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Capriglione’s bill specifies a number of responsibilities this council would have if the legislation eventually clears both houses and gets the governor’s signature to become law. Members would primarily be tasked with “studying and monitoring artificial intelligence systems developed, employed, or procured by state agencies,” according to the bill.
Artificial intelligence is defined as a computer system that emulates aspects of human cognition.
The legislation also specifies that this board will study whether a “state code of ethics” is needed regarding artificial intelligence systems in state government, as well as whether there are “potential benefits, liabilities, or risks this state could incur as a result of implementing of decision-making system automation”.
If the bill becomes law, the council is also expected to create a report and submit it by Dec. 1 next year focusing on, among other things, how state agencies use “automated decision-making systems,” what policy recommendations could impact about Texans privacy and whether such systems cause discrimination.
The proposal foresees that seven people will compose this board. Those members would include a state representative nominated by the Speaker of the House, a state senator selected by the lieutenant governor, and four appointees with AI experience nominated by the governor.
UT to launch online master’s program in artificial intelligence
This political discussion is ongoing here in the state, as even federal lawmakers are weighing the emerging presence of technologies, such as chatbots.
During this year’s South by Southwest conference, experts also discussed how AI could impact education. For example, some of them talked about how AI could be used to grade homework or help plan a lesson. However, some students said there could be problems too, especially when it comes to learning.
Earlier this year, the University of Texas at Austin announced that students will pursue a master’s degree in artificial intelligence online. The university shared in a press release that the Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence “will be the first large-scale graduate program of its kind and the only AI master’s program from a top-ranked institution to be priced close to to $10,000”. A page previously created by UT described the program as being built for professionals who want to learn new skills and thrive in a growing field.