Pennsylvania partners with OpenAI in AI pilot program

  • Pennsylvania will run a pilot program to use generative AI in state government employee operations
  • OpenAI will assist in deploying ChatGPT Enterprise in a responsible, ethical way
  • The pilot program aims to enhance Commonwealth employees’ jobs and services to Pennsylvanians

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro announced his government would embark on a pilot program to use generative AI in state government employee operations in collaboration with OpenAI.

State bodies tasked with providing services to the public are increasingly seeing the potential for generative AI to help them do that more efficiently.

By running the pilot program with an “employee-centric approach”, the project hopes to highlight employee training and resource needs as well as opportunities for more employees to integrate AI into their workflow.

Governor Shapiro said, “I believe Pennsylvania can be a national leader in the safe and responsible use of generative AI in our government operations and this first-in-the-nation pilot with OpenAI will help us safely and securely learn from and use this important technology to serve Pennsylvanians and empower our workforce,”

The project will use ChatGPT Enterprise and will be rolled out with the support of OpenAI. The Enterprise version has additional security, privacy, and management features to protect personally identifiable information.

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

Employees of the Office of Administration (OA) will be the first to participate in the program. They will use ChatGPT to edit, update, deduplicate, and simplify documents that use outdated policy language.

They will also use the tool to draft job descriptions and to untangle conflicting guidance within hundreds of thousands of pages of employee policy.

Office of Administration Secretary Neil Weaver, who also serves as chairman of the Generative AI Governing Board, said, “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. Their input will help us understand the practical applications of generative AI in their daily work and how we can best support our workforce as the technology becomes more widespread.”

The Block Center for Society and Technology at Carnegie Mellon University will also be assisting with the pilot program.

Executive Director Steve Wray said, “Carnegie Mellon University is honored and eager to help guide the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the adaptation and responsible use of emerging Artificial Intelligence tools for the benefit of all Pennsylvanians,”

This pilot project may be the first foray into generative AI for state government employees however, once the benefits are realized there are likely to be more states that will follow Pennsylvania’s lead.

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