Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Gov. Stitt announces final recommendations from AI task force


OKLAHOMA CITY (January 22, 2024) - Today, Gov. Kevin Stitt released the final recommendations from his task force on artificial intelligence (AI) and emerging technologies. Created to establish Oklahoma as the top state for responsible and proactive AI implementation, the task force laid out strategies and goals to make government more efficient and prepare the workforce for tomorrow's economy.

"Oklahoma is poised to lead the nation in implementation of artificial intelligence technology, and we have to capitalize on the momentum. Oklahoma truly could be the AI capital of the nation,” said Governor Stitt. "AI also has the potential to help us steward taxpayer dollars in a more responsible way by cutting redundant positions and replacing some positions with AI technology. In Oklahoma, 21% of the workforce is employed by federal, state or local governments while the ideal percentage would be closer to 13%. Artificial intelligence creates possibilities for more efficient employment and government services."

The task force organized their recommendations into two primary categories: strategies to support businesses and strategies to support state agencies. The task force defined four primary goals to support business in Oklahoma:

  • Enhance Oklahoma’s economy through increased investment in AI infrastructure to stimulate economic growth and technological leadership.
  • Ensure AI is implemented ethically by emphasizing transparency, accountability and data protection.
  • Implement AI education across K-12 and higher education while investing in workforce retraining programs to prepare current and future generations for an AI-centric job market.
  • Support AI innovation by encouraging research and development, fostering new public-private partnerships, and aiding start-ups to make Oklahoma a hub for cutting-edge technological creativity.

"In navigating the realm of AI opportunities in Oklahoma, our task force is committed to a strategic approach that not only evolves operations but also enriches lives," said Joe McIntosh, state chief information officer and chairman of the AI task force. "Our strategy is centered on investing in our people, fostering innovation and establishing ethical standards to pave the way for a future where AI's transformative potential benefits every citizen."

The task force made five primary recommendations to support AI implementation within state agencies:

  1. Create leadership positions within the state, such as establishing a chief artificial intelligence officer.
  2. Establish an AI oversight committee that incorporates all three branches of government.
  3. Establish an AI technology economic development task force to leverage Oklahoma’s AI infrastructure.
  4. Establish an AI digital workforce task force to encourage the existing workforce to incorporate more digital employees.
  5. Establish an AI technology talent task force to recruit more technologically skilled individuals to Oklahoma.

In addition to the recommendations for businesses and state agencies, the task force identified areas of strength for the state, such as its centralized geographic location, energy surpluses and focus on workforce development. The recommendations also emphasize ethical guidelines for AI implementation, such as ensuring human oversight and utilizing proper data storage practices.

"Oklahoma has the opportunity to be a national leader in leveraging AI solutions," said State Chief Operating Officer John Suter. "The governor’s task force made great strides forward during 2023, and we look forward to progressing the framework in 2024 as we evaluate and implement AI investments in intelligent and safe ways."

The AI task force's final recommendations can be read in full here and here.


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