Bay Area/ San Jose/ Politics & Govt
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Published on July 28, 2023
San Jose City Workers Warned: ChatGPT Chats May Land on NewspaperGetty Images

San Jose is among the first major American cities to caution its employees about the popular artificial intelligence (AI) tool ChatGPT, issuing stringent guidelines to navigate this budding technology according to Mercury News. The memo, released in July, emphasizes that city workers' ChatGPT interactions may be subject to the California Public Records Act, meaning that citizens can potentially access how employees use the AI program.

These warnings come alongside the rapid integration of generative AI, such as ChatGPT, into society. Educators are increasingly concerned about students using AI to write essays, while professionals worry about the looming threat to writing-centric jobs. On the other hand, a survey from Fishbowl by Glassdoor revealed that 80% of respondents opposed banning or restricting ChatGPT at the workplace as Fast Company reported.

Not just San Jose, both Boston and Seattle have published similar guidelines for AI use among their workers. In June, the U.S. Congress also set limits on ChatGPT use among its staff as Axios reported, reflecting the widespread efforts to address AI integration.

San Jose city workers are advised to be cautious with their AI tool usage. The memo states that anything submitted on ChatGPT could end up on a newspaper's front page, urging workers not to use prompts containing information not intended for public release. With ChatGPT use already in progress among some city employees, the memo outlines do's and don'ts, including utilizing city emails for AI website accounts and completing a form every time ChatGPT is used for work-related purposes.