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New York City Launches Government Info Chatbot

The artificial intelligence will connect business owners and entrepreneurs with information from 2,000 city web pages. The launch is part of an effort to better incorporate new technology into everyday government.

New York City business owners will now be able to utilize an artificial intelligence chatbot to access city government information, Mayor Eric Adams announced Monday, Oct. 16.

The new MyCity Business site will connect business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to content to help them start, operate, and grow businesses in the five boroughs with information from 2,000 NYC Business web pages, according to the mayor's office..

City Hall's new tool is the first piece of a larger New York City Artificial Intelligence Action Plan, which lays out how the city will incorporate the new technology into everyday government.

"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," Adams said. "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 larger plan outlines 37 key actions — 29 of which are set to be started or completed within the next year — that will be rolled out in phases to help city agencies determine if a given artificial intelligence tool is a good fit.

Some of the planned actions include establishing a framework for AI governance, creating an external advisory network focused on artificial intelligence, and publishing an annual report on the city's use of artificial intelligence,

The new MyCity Business portal will help businesses with information on topics like code and regulation compliance, available business incentives, and best practices to avoid violations and fines, according to the mayor's office.

Tariq Zaid, operations manager for Staten Island-based The Richmond Hood Company, applauded the city for its new initiative, and said it would help small businesses across the five boroughs.

"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," he said. "This city needs small businesses, and small businesses need the city to support them in as many ways as possible."

(c)2023 Staten Island Advance, N.Y. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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