Joining a chorus of other states and localities looking to address the use of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI), Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott has issued an executive order (EO) designed to govern the use and development of AI within city operations.

“City government has routinely played catch-up in terms of technology, but this administration is trying to change that,” Mayor Scott said. “We know that artificial intelligence is moving incredibly fast, presenting both unprecedented challenges and opportunities for city services.”

“We must proceed with caution and the utmost responsibility to ensure the best interests of Baltimore’s residents are centered as the use of AI becomes increasingly common,” the mayor said. “This executive order lays the foundation for a future where the use of AI technologies is guided in a manner that is transparent, secure, and beneficial for all Baltimoreans.”

The city said the EO is intended to be a proactive step that ensures responsible use of generative AI tools as they become more prolific and offer additional opportunities to support government services.

The mayor’s office said the EO tackles four primary objectives. The EO: outlines the city’s general position on using generative artificial intelligence tools; explains guiding principles drawn from guidance already outlined by the White House and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); provides specific guidance on usage for city employees; and outlines next steps, including the establishment of an advisory committee on artificial intelligence.

“We are grateful to Mayor Scott for his leadership and for the guidance his office has issued to employees,” said City of Baltimore CIO Todd Carter. “As we work to put these principles into action, the Baltimore City Office of Information and Technology will continue to be a resource to employees who would like to learn about these new AI tools and to help employees use generative AI responsibly and effectively.”

The city said it plans to establish the advisory committee in the next few weeks. The committee will be made up of both city agencies and external stakeholders. Once established, the group will be tasked with assessing the current use of generative artificial intelligence technologies across city agencies, researching and supporting policy development, offering education and training for city employees, and developing risk profiles for safe and productive use cases.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs