On September 6, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order to guide the regulation of generative artificial intelligence (“GenAI”) in California. GenAI refers to technology that can be used to create, or generate, content. (Think of ChatGPT!)
Application of the Executive Order
While the executive order is currently only applicable to the state government’s use of GenAI, California companies can expect the guidelines and results produced to be applied as a basis for future rules and regulations impacting the use, procurement, and development of artificial intelligence in the private sector.
Risk Assessment Report and Guidelines
Within 60 days of the issuance of the executive order, various California agencies (such as the California Government Operations Agency) will draft a report examining the most important and potentially beneficial uses of GenAI by the state and the potential risks of such uses. General guidelines for public sector employee training, procurement, and use of GenAI tools will be released by January 2024.
In developing these guidelines, reports, trainings, and pilot projects, the state government will engage with the legislature and stakeholders, including civic society, academia, industry experts, and historically vulnerable and marginalized communities. The state government also seeks to pursue a partnership with UC Berkeley and Stanford University to evaluate the impacts of GenAI on California and recommend efforts for the state to advance its leadership in the area, with the goal of hosting a joint summit in 2024 to discuss findings.
Practical Considerations for Employers
While the executive order currently only applies to the state government, employers currently using GenAI tools should be aware of existing federal and state guidance and regulations on artificial intelligence that may already impact private employers (or may soon impact them), including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s guidance on the use of artificial intelligence in hiring and other employment decisions and California Civil Rights Council’s proposed modifications to employment regulations on artificial intelligence. As with all things IT, this is an ever-evolving area of law. It is likely that more regulations are to come in the near future.
MNK Law will continue to monitor developments with respect to regulations on GenAI in California and its impact on California employers. For more information about the use of GenAI, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between MNK Law and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material.
 See, e.g., https://www.eeoc.gov/newsroom/eeoc-launches-initiative-artificial-intelligence-and-algorithmic-fairness and https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/americans-disabilities-act-and-use-software-algorithms-and-artificial-intelligence.