GREAT RESOURCE FOR USING GENERATIVE AI
A new online generative AI course that’s sponsored by Strategic Government Resources (SGR) is free and available to individuals interested in safely applying ChatGPT and other generative AI tools to a variety of local government functions.
Webinar course episodes will appear on the first Wednesday of each month, covering different areas of government. The first one appeared on February 8, and focused on human resources. It highlighted how generative AI could be used for summarizing or creating documents on new employee orientation, job descriptions, leave management, and other HR tasks.
The first episode also contained a lot of very useful information on the characteristics of different tools and the difference between the free and premium versions that are typically available.
You can find the February webinar on the SGR YouTube channel. Subsequent ones will focus on such local government topics as generative AI and its uses in city management, public works and public safety.
The course instructor is Micah Gaudet, deputy city manager in Maricopa, Arizona. We previously interviewed Gaudet, who is extremely well-versed on the topic, and we’ve learned a lot from him ourselves. He also runs a network devoted to generative AI usage in local government, which now has about 250 members from the U.S. and around the world. These sessions can also be found on YouTube if you search his name.
The SGR course episodes run about 45 minutes. They are moderated by Mike Mowery, president of SGR’s Leadership Development team, and Krisa De La Cruz, director of business development.
A couple of our takeaways from the first:
In addition to discussing ChatGPT and the uses of its different versions, Gaudet also talked about two other generative AI tools – Perplexity, which he labeled “Google on steroids” and Claude, which is for summarizing and otherwise interacting with large files (like a budget), and of course ChatGPT, as well as its more advanced and premium versions.
Gaudet emphasized the importance of keeping a “human in the loop” – not relying on generative AI documents without careful attention to how AI generated answers relate to your own government, its rules, ethics, and culture.
He explained how it’s possible to train generative AI so that it is tailored to a single government system – for example, by uploading city code files or a state employee handbook.
In answer to audience questions about security and privacy issues, Gaudet emphasized the importance of seeking guidance from a city’s legal team. He noted that there is a lot that can be done by focusing uses on publicly available information, and that while you can anonymize data, it’s always best to consult with legal on what’s appropriate and lawful.
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