Oneida County officials discuss artificial intelligence


Artificial intelligence (AI) has evolved significantly from its early days, prompting local officials and experts to engage with residents of Oneida County to dispel misconceptions and discuss its implications.

At a recent gathering hosted at Mohawk Valley Community College’s Rome Campus, State Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-Rome, and Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. convened with four experts to offer insights into AI.

The panel included:

  • Anthony Martino, director of Northeast Cybersecurity and Forensics Center at Utica University,
  • Charles Green, co-founder and CEO of Assured Information Security, Inc.,
  • Dr. Andy Drozd, president and chief scientist at ANDRO Computational Solutions,
  • LLC, and Stephen Acquario, Executive Director of New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC).

Griffo highlighted New York’s ambition to become a hub for AI research and development, stressing the importance of understanding AI’s implications for potential legislation. Picente echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the need to safeguard communities and individuals affected by AI.

The discussion delved into defining AI, with Martino cautioning against the indiscriminate labeling of technology as AI. Drozd described AI as a technology capable of processing vast amounts of data and delivering contextual and useful insights within seconds. Green underscored AI’s historical development and its current applications, particularly in large language models like ChatGPT.

While acknowledging AI’s transformative potential, the panel recognized the importance of data quality, as AI is only as effective as the data it’s fed. They highlighted AI’s role in personalizing online experiences and automating tasks like data analysis for government agencies.

However, concerns were raised regarding data privacy and intellectual property rights, with residents expressing apprehension about data collection and usage by AI systems. Martino and Drozd discussed emerging concepts around personal intellectual property and data ownership.

Regarding AI’s role in education, Drozd highlighted the availability of plagiarism detection services tailored for AI-generated content. Picente shared observations of AI-generated content inaccuracies, emphasizing the importance of monitoring AI applications.

While acknowledging AI’s benefits, Griffo and Picente stressed the need for responsible AI deployment, particularly in government services. They advocated for cautious monitoring of AI advancements and prioritized its use in enhancing operational efficiency at the county and local level.

In conclusion, the discussion underscored the need for informed dialogue and proactive measures to harness AI’s potential while mitigating risks and ensuring equitable access to its benefits.