PA becomes first state in US to partner with OpenAI with new program

09 January 2024- Governor Josh Shapiro and OpenAI, one of the nation’s leading artificial intelligence (AI) research and deployment companies, announced that the Commonwealth’s Office of Administration (OA) will lead a first-of-its-kind pilot program of ChatGPT Enterprise – a keystone OpenAI product featuring enhanced cybersecurity measures – to help Commonwealth employees understand where and how generative AI tools can be safely and securely leveraged in their daily operations. 

The pilot is the Commonwealth’s first-ever use of generative AI tools for state government employees, and its findings will help guide the wider integration of this technology into state government operations to enhance productivity and empower the Commonwealth’s workforce. The pilot also represents OpenAI’s first-ever agreement with a state entity.

“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,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “Generative AI is here and impacting our daily lives already – and my Administration is taking a proactive approach to harness the power of its benefits while mitigating its potential risks. By establishing a generative AI Governing Board within my Administration and partnering with universities that are national leaders in developing and deploying AI, we have already leaned into innovation to ensure our Commonwealth approaches generative AI use responsibly and ethically to capitalize on opportunity.”

Immediately following the announcement, the Governor will meet with senior OpenAI executives to emphasize his approach to responsible generative AI as a tool to enhance Commonwealth employees’ jobs. The new pilot program will help Commonwealth employees explore use cases for generative AI that can be incorporated into their service to Pennsylvanians. While the pilot will help Commonwealth employees improve customer experience and outcomes for Pennsylvanians, no Pennsylvanian will interact directly with ChatGPT in any way when they interact with the Commonwealth.

“Pennsylvania is the first state in the nation to pilot ChatGPT Enterprise for its workforce. This initiative showcases Pennsylvania’s commitment to innovation, led by the strength of the state’s diverse communities and dynamic economy,” said Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI. “Our collaboration with Governor Shapiro and the Pennsylvania team will provide valuable insights into how AI tools can responsibly enhance state services.”

The ChatGPT Enterprise pilot will begin in January 2024 and is initially limited to OA employees who will use the tool for tasks such as creating and editing copy, making outdated policy language more accessible, drafting job descriptions to help with recruitment and hiring, addressing duplication and conflicting guidance within hundreds of thousands of pages of employee policy, helping employees generate code, and more. Employees will receive individual support and guidance on how they should use the tool and will also provide continuous feedback to the pilot team to help the Commonwealth determine future best uses. An additional 100 licenses will eventually be available to non-OA agency employees for shorter periods of time after initial feedback and findings from OA employees are gathered.

The enterprise version of ChatGPT has additional security, privacy, and management features not found in the consumer version. As such, no inputs, feedback, or data input by the Commonwealth into the tool will be used to train ChatGPT or future products from OpenAI. The added cybersecurity measures also ensure that no data of any kind is shared between agencies or separate Commonwealth entities. Commonwealth employees may not use any sensitive information – including any Pennsylvanian’s personally identifiable information – when utilizing ChatGPT for day-to-day operations.

The pilot program was recommended by the Generative AI Governing Board, which makes recommendations for generative AI policy, procurement, development, and deployment based on the core values of accuracy, adaptability, employee empowerment, equity and fairness, innovation, mission alignment, privacy, proportionality, safety and security, and transparency.

OA will use lessons learned from the pilot to identify other state government jobs that could benefit most from using generative AI. The pilot will also provide greater insight into the capabilities and limitations of generative AI tools and inform the development of employee training and resource needs.