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Pittsfield state representative to serve on statewide AI task force

A ChapGPT logo is seen in West Chester, Pa., Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023.
Matt Rourke
A ChapGPT logo is seen in West Chester, Pa., Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023.

State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, of Pittsfield, has been chosen to represent the state house on Gov. Maura Healy’s Artificial Intelligence Strategic Task Force. 

Farley-Bouvier, a Democrat, has previous experience working on AI Policy through the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL). 

“I’m excited that the governor has taken this approach to AI,” said Farley-Bouvier. “Many other states are only doing the defense around AI and the things that are kind of scary about AI.” 

Farley-Bouvier, commended the governor for choosing to “harness the power” of AI, and making way for Massachusetts to be an AI hub. 

Farley-Bouvier said that to her AI presents a lot of opportunities in the areas of health, economic development, and higher education. 

She added that it’s important to “have a workforce that is well-trained to take on these challenges,” and prepared to use AI effectively. 

However, one of the biggest concerns around AI is how it will change the workplace and employment opportunities. 

“Overall, people are concerned about AI replacing them at work,” Farley-Bouvier said. “I actually reject that notion.” 

Farley-Bouvier, said she doesn't believe workers will be replaced by AI, but rather workers who use AI will replace those who don't. 

Similarly to the workplace, she believes education needs to adjust to the use of AI rather than reject it. 

One of the first issues brought up by AI and ChatGPT was academic integrity and plagiarism. 

“Instead of trying to chase that and come up with new programs to try and detect if ChatGPT was used, I think education needs to take a shift of ‘how do we use AI in education?’” said Farley-Bouvier,  

She believes education needs to focus on teaching students to use AI responsibly, including fact checking and citing sources. 

“AI is not going to replace teachers, but teachers who use AI could very well replace teachers who do not,” she said.  

Other AI issues that Farley-Bouvier has seen include AI generated revenge porn, and the possibility of election interference. 

According to a press release from Gov. Maura Healy's office, “The mission of the Task Force is to create specific recommendations for how the state can best support the state’s businesses in leading sectors around AI adoption.”

The task force is composed of 25 people representing business, higher education, and government from across the state and is scheduled to have recommendations for the governor's office sometime late this year.

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