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Mayor Adams Releases First-of-Its-Kind Plan For Responsible Artificial Intelligence Use In NYC Government

October 16, 2023

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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 today 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 AI Action Plan exemplifies how the Adams administration is using the technology of tomorrow to better serve New Yorkers today,” said First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright. “This framework will help city agencies take advantage of AI's potential to better deliver vital services while protecting New Yorker's privacy and concerns about bias. I look forward to seeing how the MyCity AI chatbot unlocks the potential of small-business owners across our city, allowing them to focus on what they do best — growing their businesses — while government does its part in making it easier to ‘Get Stuff Done.’”

“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.”

“With the creation of the Office of Technology and Innovation, Mayor Adams has set a new standard for how to enable smarter tech adoption across city government,” said Chief Technology Officer Fraser. “I am proud of my colleagues at OTI who have put forward a thoughtful approach that will guide how the City of New York supports its agencies through responsible adoption and shape the way cities around the world approach AI.”

“The business site on the MyCity portal is a game-changer for small businesses across the city,” said SBS Commissioner Kim. “Small business owners will not only save time and avoid frustrations with the streamlined site, but also connect more easily with the resources that can help take their business to the next level. By putting all of our services in one location and using the innovative new chatbot as a guide, we are taking another step towards making New York into the true ‘City of Yes.’”

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.

MyCity Business

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.

“New York City hosts the largest school district in the nation, producing hundreds of thousands of future leaders, innovators, and changemakers. It is essential that our youngest New Yorkers have access to the latest advancements technology has to offer, learning how to use tools like AI responsibly and for the betterment of their communities,” said New York City Department of Education Chancellor David C. Banks. “I’m thrilled to see our city begin taking advantage of AI in a conscientious way and am looking forward to collaborating with agencies across the city as we continue to develop new and innovative ways to set our kids on pathways to success using every tool at our disposal.”

“The Department of Health works with thousands of businesses from child care centers to food service establishments in an effort to ensure we’re working both efficiently and responsibly to connect entrepreneurs with the tools they need to support a healthy community that is crucial,” said New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “These efforts from OTI are key to the future. The earlier government engages with new technology, the sooner we can safely maximize use of that technology for the people we serve.”

“As a world leader in using technology to creatively address transportation problems, we thank Mayor Adams’ for his leadership as well as Chief Technology Officer Matt Fraser for his guidance on how to best embrace a future that will use more artificial intelligence to get our work done,” said DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “It is also critical that we use AI in a responsible way that can maximize efficiency while protecting New York City, its residents, and employees. Providing the MyCity chatbot as a resource for local businesses is a great place to start to not only support economic growth but also illustrate the incredible power of this new and exciting technology.”

“DCWP’s use of an advanced algorithmic tool has helped the way we inspect businesses over the past few years, providing our teams with optimized routes and allowing us to more efficiently inspect and educate our local businesses,” said New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga. “Thank you to the mayor and to OTI for spearheading this innovative AI Action Plan, ensuring agencies can meet the future needs of our city while still centering our efforts in equity and safety.”

“Emerging AI technology has already begun to reshape our processes and help make them more efficient,” said NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Dawn M. Pinnock. “At DCAS, we're tasked with managing and paying the city's utility bills, and in an effort to enhance our bill review and auditing procedures, we've leaned on modern technology to develop a machine learning tool that utilizes history to estimate consumption and track any bill anomalies. With tools like these and Mayor Adams' AI Action Plan, we're harnessing the power of AI to increase our efficiency so that we can better deliver services to all New Yorkers.”

“Multidimensional stakeholder engagement is critical to the lawful and responsible use of artificial intelligence in New York City,” said New York City Chief Privacy Officer Michael Fitzpatrick. “It is a shared responsibility to account for the impacts artificial intelligence may have on individual privacy and provide confidence to all New Yorkers who may engage city services leveraging the technology. The Office of Information Privacy is appreciative of the opportunity to partner with colleagues across city service in sharing unique perspectives that have been aligned within the Artificial Intelligence Action Plan and looks forward to this next phase of supporting its implementation for the benefit of all New Yorkers.”

“Cybersecurity continues to be a priority for this administration, and New York City AI Action Plan is a holistic approach to artificial intelligence, striking a balance between innovation and responsible use, while continuing to prioritize the security of New Yorkers data,” said New York City Chief Information Security Officer Kelly Moan. “New York City remains on the forefront of technology advancement, and I commend Mayor Adams and CTO Fraser for releasing an action plan that incorporates a full spectrum of considerations for citywide use of AI.”

“We know from the city’s Open Data program that when New Yorkers are partners in understanding the ways that government collects and uses information, we all benefit,” said New York City Chief Analytics Officer Martha Norrick. “The Office of Data Analytics is excited to partner with city agencies, experts, and the public to support the implementation of this critical framework.”

“If used properly, AI has the potential to open up groundbreaking opportunities to help support city services,” said New York State Senator Andrew Gounardes. “It’s great that the Mayor is looking to leverage its incredible potential to help support and grow our City, and I look forward to what this technology can and will do to improve the daily lives of New Yorkers.”

“Mayor Adams is leading the way in both supporting cutting edge AI technology and ensuring that it is used responsibly. I am proud to partner with the Mayor by introducing legislation in Albany to create New York State's first ever Office of Innovation and Algorithmic Responsibility. As we enter an AI-powered future, we must ensure that algorithms are safe, effective, fair, and ethical,” New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar. “The automation of work through algorithms is expected to increase global GDP by $15.7 trillion by 2030. Already, AI is being used for employment decisions, prison sentencing, insurance rates, medical advice, loans, drug discoveries, crime detection, and business decisions. In the near future, it is expected to be used for autonomous vehicles, performing surgeries, financial planning, investments, teaching children, and military strategy. Meanwhile, government oversight of algorithms has not kept pace with this rapid advent. I am proud to partner with Mayor Adams to meet the moment and ensure that AI works to the benefit of the people of our city and state.”

“It is critical in this age of artificial intelligence, to address the risks and responsibilities government has in utilizing AI. The administration's 'New York City Artificial Intelligence Action Plan' will address the risks of this new, evolving technology,” said New York City Councilmember Julie Menin. “The AI improvements to the MyCity Business portal will be helpful for small businesses seeking vital information from this centralized site. As a former small business owner, I am pleased that this will help address the goal of my legislation — a one-stop shop portal to help small business owners survive and thrive.”

“Amidst a crescendo of AI hype, cities stand at a juncture, tasked to determine how to govern and harness technology in a way that benefits all their residents,” said Dr. Stefaan Verhulst, research professor, New York University; co-founder, The GovLab and The Data Tank. “The New York City Artificial Intelligence Action Plan propels New York City to the forefront of this global dialogue, charting a course that is as innovative as it is inclusive. Through a responsible implementation of all the 37 proposed actions, coupled with the mobilization of the city’s diverse talent, New York City can not only lead in technological ingenuity but also exemplify how cities can responsibly leverage AI for communal betterment.”

“As New York City further establishes itself as a hotbed for AI, the tech sector and all New Yorkers should feel encouraged that our leaders are taking concrete action to harness this technology in a positive way,” said Julie Samuels, president and executive director, Tech:NYC. “The NYC AI Action Plan only reinforces New York’s position as a national leader in charting a smart and safe path forward on AI, building on the work of the city’s groundbreaking Automated Decision Systems Task Force that I was proud to serve on. As the use of AI continues to grow, there’s no doubt its many applications will impact virtually every industry operating in New York City. This plan will help ensure all New Yorkers benefit from these changes.”

“Columbia University’s Data Science Institute welcomes this new Mayoral initiative, the AI Action Plan,” said Cliff Stein, interim director, the Data Science Institute; Wai T. Chang Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research; professor of computer science, Columbia University. “This initiative is in line with the Institute’s mission of ‘data for good.’ We strongly believe in the responsible use of AI, which given its rapid development must be used in service to the broader benefit of all New Yorkers. We look forward to our continued partnership with the Mayor’s Office and industry across New York City.

“As the fast-moving AI revolution continues to materialize, the City of New York’s new AI Action Plan lays the critical foundation needed in utilizing AI for the public good,” said Andrew Rasiej, co-founder and president, Civic Hall; chairman, NY Tech Alliance. “The NYC AI Action Plan not only promises enhanced and efficient services for all New Yorkers, but through its strong inclusion of governance and security measure will ensure that our data and public information remains safe and secure.”

“I’m optimistic about the vision for responsibly built AI for the citizens of New York City,” said Dr. Rumman Chowdhury, CEO and founder, Humane Intelligence; responsible AI fellow, Berkman Klein Center, Harvard University. “The action plan represents an affirmative vision to harness the technology to provide public benefit.”

“Amidst a crescendo of AI hype, cities stand at a juncture, tasked to determine how to govern and harness technology in a way that benefits all their residents,” said Dr. Stefaan Verhulst, research professor, New York University; co-founder of The GovLab and The Data Tank. “The NYC AI Action Plan propels New York City to the forefront of this global dialogue, charting a course that is as innovative as it is inclusive. Through a responsible implementation of all of the 37 proposed actions, coupled with the mobilization of the city's diverse talent, NYC can not only lead in technological ingenuity but also exemplify how cities can responsibly leverage AI for communal betterment.”

“The most exciting thing about these initiatives is their emphasis on education and training about how the city can not only use AI to improve the delivery of public services, but also make sure that these technologies work for the public good,” said Mutale Nkonde, founder and CEO, AI  for the People.

“Through this New York City AI Action Plan, the city shows great leadership in delivering on the promise of AI, while ensuring that the responsible use of this fast-moving technology will benefit all New Yorkers,” said Jeannette M. Wing, executive vice president for research and professor of computer science, Columbia University.

“I'm optimistic about the vision for responsibly built AI for the citizens of New York City,” said Dr. Rumman Chowdhury, CEO and founder, Humane Intelligence and Responsible AI Fellow, Harvard Berkman Klein Center. “The New York City Artificial Intelligence Action Plan represents an affirmative vision to harness the technology to provide public benefit.”

“The MyCity Portal’s new Business Site democratizes information access for New York City’s 200,000+ small businesses,” said Deepa Dadlani, co-chair, Small Business Advisory Commission (SBAC); and CEO, VICI Brands. “The portal provides educational resources, informational reports, and business preparedness by industry in a streamlined and customizable manner. NYC’s Small Business Services’ public education and outreach activities provides multi-language training and technical support to businesses using the portal to access information. The City of Yes along with the refreshed MyCity Portal fuels us with optimism for the future of New York City’s small businesses.”

“It's been an honor to be a part of the usability testing for the new business site on MyCity Portal,” said Joy Fan, member, SBAC; and founder, re/tell. “The searchability of resources, the funding and financing assistance, and AI integration for small businesses are very impactful as they will save small business owners and operators a lot of time. The navigation is much easier with all the information in one place. Can't wait to share with our community of business owners and entrepreneurs.”

“Educate, equip, and mobilize is what MyCity website will do for all New Yorkers and small businesses of all cultures,” said Rev. Carmen Hernandez, member, SBAC; and president and founder, NYC LGBTQS+ Chamber of Commerce. “What a relief this is for small business owners and for all those who want to start a business or learn how to go about it. The frustrations of not knowing where to go and what to do are over. My prayer is that the MyCity website will be what we have been waiting for — for all New Yorkers, especially for the LGBTQS+ business community.”

“Brava to the City of New York for continually evolving the way it assists and impacts New York City small business owners,” said Dawn Kelly, member, SBAC; and owner, The Nourish Spot. “As a small business owner, I believe any tool created to ease my access & interactions with the City of New York is a win-win. I applaud this innovation, this one-stop-shop of sorts, that will provide New York City entrepreneurs like me streamlined access to services and support to start, grow and expand our businesses.”

“The Queens Night Market has helped launch almost 400 brand new businesses in New York City and has partnered with SBS on numerous free small business seminars over the last eight years, so we know the importance of streamlining the permitting process and of common-sense navigability to pertinent information,” said John Wang, member, SBAC; and founder, Queens Night Market. “Any platform that makes it easier for aspiring entrepreneurs to cut through red tape will bolster the small-business economy that makes New York City so vibrant and resilient. We're very much looking forward to the MyCity portal and the wave of entrepreneurship it will support.”

“As an operator of two small businesses, I’m excited about the MyCity portal,” said Tariq Zaid, member, SBAC; and operations manager, The Richmond Hood Company. “Finding the proper information across multiple websites can be a challenge, as well as a very time-consuming process. Having everything all in one place is essential for anyone operating a small business. We need to find answers and resources quickly so we can get back to work—whether it’s information about a permit or a violation, or a new program that can elevate our businesses. This city needs small businesses, and small businesses need the city to support them in as many ways as possible. This is essential for businesses’ success, and I am glad SBS collaborated with all the agencies to make doing business in New York City a little easier.”

“Running a restaurant in New York City requires navigating an alphabet soup of regulatory agencies like DOH, DOB, FDNY, DEP, and DCWP, each with their own permits, requirements, systems, support programs, and information hubs, making it time-consuming and complicated for small business owners to manage their relationship with city government,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director, NYC Hospitality Alliance. “That’s why we were thrilled when Mayor Adams signed Councilmember Julie Menin’s small business portal legislation into law, and we commend SBS Commissioner Kevin Kim and his team for developing and launching the business site on the MyCity portal, which will be a one-stop shop for small business owners to manage their business with the city.”

“Queens is home to a dynamic and diverse business community, and we want to ensure that every business has the tools and information needed to thrive,” said Tom Grech, president and CEO, Queens Chamber of Commerce. “With the launch of the new Business Site on the MyCity portal, business owners, entrepreneurs, startups, and established enterprises across Queens and the rest of the city will have access to a central hub of information to help them find resources and navigate today’s rapidly changing business landscape. I commend SBS Commissioner Kim and the Department of Small Business Services for its commitment to introducing state of the art technology to businesses, including the use of responsible AI.”

“The Adams administration has been a pioneer in leveraging innovative technologies to improve government services,” said Randy Peers, president and CEO, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.  “We look forward to partnering with SBS on rolling out the business site on the MyCity portal to ensure that our small businesses continue to thrive and grow in NYC.”

“Mayor Adams and Commissioner Kim’s addition of the new Business Site to the MyCity Portal and the AI Chat Box is a transformative addition to the existing platform,” said Lisa Sorin, president, Bronx Chamber of Commerce. “One of the challenges our small businesses have faced is understanding and accessing the multitude of city resources available to them. Thankfully, this program not only streamlines many processes but also creates a user-friendly interface, inviting existing and new small businesses to explore the platform. I’m so excited to see all the ways the small businesses across the city will take advantage of this great project.” 

“Mayor Adams has delivered on yet another campaign promise,” said Jessica Walker, president and CEO, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. “His administration has made the needs of small businesses a top priority and today’s announcement positions New York City to be a beacon for entrepreneurship and innovative growth that will provide economic benefits for all New Yorkers.”

“The opening of the Business site on MyCity will provide small businesses with greater and easier access to city resources and processes to foster thriving businesses across the city,” said Jeff Garcia, president, New York State Latino Restaurant, Bar & Lounge Association. “Integrating AI-technology will be helpful to small business owners, saving owners time and providing a more streamlined process on MyCity. NYSLRBLA thanks the administration for leveraging the latest technologies to promote easier business operations.” 

“The Business Site on the MyCity portal is a game-changer, making it easier for bodega owners to access critical information and run successful businesses,” said Francisco Marte, president, Bodega and Small Business Association of New York City. “We highly appreciate Mayor Eric Adams and Commissioner Kim for deploying new technologies to assist business owners.”

“I've had the privilege of evaluating the MyCity Portal, which presents groundbreaking solutions for small businesses in New York City, providing a comprehensive one-stop shop,” said Dominic Christopher, president, Deh Abroad Village. “Thank you to Mayor Adams, Commissioner Kim, and the dedicated team for this brilliant initiative.”

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