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LISTEN: Seattle IT’s Interim CTO Jim Loter talks AI on GeekWire podcast

It’s been a big year for artificial intelligence (AI) so far. After the research laboratory Open AI released a preview of the AI chatbot ChatGPT in November 2022, public familiarity with AI software began to rise sharply. Tech companies scrambled to capitalize on the moment. By the end of February 2023, Microsoft had released AI-powered Bing Chat, and in March 2023, Google launched Bard. As we enter the second half of 2023, AI’s momentum seems inexorable, and prognostication about AI’s impact is profuse.

Artificial intelligence is a technology that holds a lot of promise, but it should also give us pause. After all, how accurate is the source data for any given AI system? Do AI programs carry over bias from the input that informs their knowledge base? What happens when protected intellectual property or confidential data becomes part of an AI platform? These are questions coming to the fore in our era of AI adoption.

Interim CTO Jim Loter

Against this background, the City of Seattle’s Information Technology department took action in April 2023 to establish an interim AI policy. In a previous Tech Talk blog post, Interim CTO Jim Loter explained different types of AI, the City’s position on the use of AI by its employees, and the unique risks posed by AI to the public sector. 

On July 8, 2023, the Seattle-based technology news site GeekWire published a podcast interview with Loter. In conversation with GeekWire, Loter expanded on the reasoning behind the City of Seattle’s interim AI policy and answered some thoughtful questions from GeekWire’s Todd Bishop.

Listen to the GeekWire podcast here or via the streaming widget below. And after the discussion on AI wraps up, stick with the conversation to hear Loter talk about Seattle IT’s digital equity initiatives.