City Will Develop Framework to Evaluate AI-Based Tools and Protect Against Risks, Build Knowledge and Skills in City Government, and Support Responsible Implementation
As Part of New Phase of MyCity Portal, Adams Administration Piloting First Citywide AI Chatbot to Help Business Owners Navigate Government
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Chief Technology Officer Matthew Fraser on Monday, October 16, released the Adams administration’s comprehensive “New York City Artificial Intelligence Action Plan,” taking a major step to cement New York City’s position as a leader in the responsible use of innovative artificial intelligence (AI) technology. The broad plan — the first of its kind for a major U.S. city — will develop a framework for city agencies to carefully evaluate AI tools and associated risks, help city government employees build AI knowledge and skills, and support the responsible implementation of these technologies to improve quality of life for New Yorkers.
Integrating the administration’s efforts to embrace responsible AI tools that can streamline and improve government services within the groundbreaking MyCity portal, Mayor Adams and New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Kevin D. Kim launched the new MyCity Business site, which features a pilot for New York City’s first citywide AI chatbot. Building on the first phase of MyCity, launched in March to help New York City families access child care, MyCity Business will connect business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to content to help them start, operate, and grow businesses in New York City. With the AI chatbot, business owners will more easily be able to access trusted information from more than 2,000 NYC Business web pages.
“While artificial intelligence presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to more effectively deliver for New Yorkers, we must be clear-eyed about the potential pitfalls and associated risks these technologies present,” said Mayor Adams. “I am proud to introduce a plan that will strike a critical balance in the global AI conversation — one that will empower city agencies to deploy technologies that can improve lives while protecting against those that can do harm.”
“The addition of the business site to the MyCity portal is an important milestone in making city government accessible to everyone,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “Through the creation of this simple, easy-to-use tool, we are removing barriers to city resources that have the potential to positively impact small businesses across New York. I’m thrilled to see how the business site on the MyCity portal can help business owners and excited to see what else MyCity has in store.”
AI captures a wide variety of technologies that use data to make predictions, inferences, recommendations, rankings, or other decisions. While AI offers substantial potential benefits, the emerging technology also comes with risks, such as providing inaccurate or unintended results and, in some cases, exhibiting patterns of bias and discrimination.
The New York City Artificial Intelligence Action Plan introduces a set of phased actions the city will undertake to help agencies evaluate risks and determine whether or not a tool is the right technology to deliver better positive outcomes for New Yorkers. The action plan represents the knowledge, expertise, and contributions of 50 city employees from 18 agencies, as well as the insights of industry, academia, and civil society.
The plan outlines 37 key actions — 29 of which are set to be started or completed within the next year. Under this plan, the city will, among other things:
- Establish a framework for AI governance that acknowledges the risks of AI, including bias and disparate impact;
- Create an external advisory network to consult with stakeholders across sectors around the opportunities and challenges posed by AI;
- Build AI knowledge and skills in city government to prepare city employees to effectively and responsibly work with and on AI;
- Enable responsible AI acquisition with AI-specific procurement standards or guidance to support agency-level contracting; and
- Publish an annual AI progress report to communicate about the city’s progress and implementation.
The newest phase of Mayor Adams’ MyCity portal, the MyCity Business site will serve as an easily accessible, all-in-one resource for applications, permits, licenses, and related information needed to open and operate a business in New York City. The new AI chatbot will save business owners and entrepreneurs time and money by instantly providing them with actionable and trusted information from more than 2,000 NYC Business web pages and articles on topics such as compliance with codes and regulations, available business incentives, and best practices to avoid violations and fines.
The MyCity Business site also features the city’s first online capital marketplace for small business owners called NYC Funds Finder, which can connect entrepreneurs with financing assistance through community development financial institution partners and other lenders.
The MyCity Business site is the result of a cross-agency collaboration between the New York City Office of Technology and Innovation and SBS, advancing priorities outlined in Mayor Adams’ “Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent: A Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery” and delivering on recommendations in both the inaugural report of the city’s Small Business Advisory Commission and New York City Councilmember Julie Menin’s “Creation of a One-Stop Shop Small Business Portal” bill, which was signed into law by Mayor Adams in 2022. Still in its beta phase, the MyCity Business site and the chatbot will expand in offerings and functionality in the coming months.