State Agency Proposes $10 Million Investment to Explore Artificial Intelligence Applications


Michigan’s Department of Technology, Management, and Budget (DTMB) is embarking on a $10 million initiative to explore the extensive potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in state governance. Proposed as part of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s 2025 state budget, this endeavor aims to revolutionize services for Michigan residents through AI-driven solutions, spanning pilot projects and comprehensive studies.

Laura Clark, DTMB’s Chief Information Officer, underscores the transformative opportunities AI presents while emphasizing the paramount importance of safeguarding state systems and data integrity. Rather than rushing to the forefront of AI implementation, Michigan intends to adopt a prudent approach, prioritizing pilot programs that mitigate risks to personal data and broader state infrastructure.

Currently, Michigan state workers have limited access to AI systems like ChatGPT for report generation, provided the data utilized is publicly available. While simpler AI technologies have been commonplace in state operations for decades, recent advancements, including the ill-fated MiDAS system for detecting unemployment insurance fraud, have underscored the need for cautious implementation and thorough risk assessment.

Ray Holman of United Auto Workers Local 6000 echoes concerns about new technology adoption, citing past instances of costly and inefficient systems that fail to benefit both state employees and citizens. Holman advocates for increased dialogue and collaboration between the state and labor unions to ensure effective implementation.

Discussions within state agencies highlight key areas of interest for AI utilization, including chatbot technology, data analysis, and modernization of IT infrastructure. Michigan’s current use of chatbots on is set to expand, potentially offering additional services such as translation assistance.

However, as AI technology advances, so do cybersecurity threats. Clark warns of AI-powered phishing attacks targeting state systems, highlighting the need for robust cybersecurity measures to counter such threats effectively.

While other states employ AI for tasks like signature verification on absentee ballots, Michigan’s Department of State currently lacks plans for AI integration. Meanwhile, the Michigan Department of Transportation is spearheading several AI pilot projects focused on enhancing road safety through innovative technologies.

Michigan’s ambitious AI initiative reflects a commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technologies for the benefit of its citizens while prioritizing data security and risk mitigation.