AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Legislature may move forward with creating a new group to study how helpful or risky artificial intelligence systems may be in state government.
The Texas House state affairs committee will meet Wednesday morning to discuss a bill filed by Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake, which would create a new, seven-person artificial intelligence advisory council for the state. The hearing related to this proposal and a number of other bills will begin at 10:30 a.m., and a live stream will be available on the House website.
Capriglione’s bill specifies a number of responsibilities that this council would have if the legislation ultimately clears both chambers and gets the governor’s signature to become law. The members would chiefly be tasked with having to “study and monitor artificial intelligence systems developed, employed, or procured by state agencies,” according to the bill.
AI is defined as a computer system that emulates aspects of human cognition.
The legislation also specifies this council would study whether a “state code of ethics” is needed regarding AI systems in state government as well as whether there are “potential benefits, liabilities, or risks that this state could incur as a result of implementing the automated decision system.”
If the bill becomes law, the council would also have to create a report and submit it no later than Dec. 1 next year focusing, among other things, on how state agencies use “automated decision systems,” what policy recommendations could impact Texans’ privacy and whether such systems cause any discrimination.
The proposal reads that seven people would comprise this council. Those members would include a state representative appointed by the House speaker, a state senator chosen by the lieutenant governor and four appointees with AI expertise named by the governor.
This policy discussion here in the state is happening, as federal lawmakers are also weighing the emerging presence of technologies, like chatbots.
During this year’s South by Southwest Conference, experts also discussed how AI could factor into education. For instance, some of them talked about how AI could be used for grading papers or to help plan a lesson. However, some students said there could also be issues, especially when it comes to learning.
Earlier this year, the University of Texas at Austin announced it will students to pursue a master’s degree in artificial intelligence online. The university shared in a news release the Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence “will be the first large-scale degree program of its kind and the only master’s degree program in AI from a top-ranked institution to be priced close to $10,000.” A page already created by UT described the program as one that’s built for professionals who’d like to learn new skills and thrive in a growing field.