Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes Convenes New Artificial Intelligence and Election Security Advisory Committee

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PHOENIX – Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes hosted the inaugural meeting of his Artificial Intelligence and Election Security Advisory Committee. This group of subject-matter experts, co-chaired by Chris Cummiskey and Gowri Ramachandran, will guide Secretary Fontes on the deployment of AI technologies in safeguarding Arizona's elections. The committee aims to prepare for and mitigate AI-related disruptions to ensure the integrity of the elections process.

"We are asserting our leadership in modernizing government services, lowering the cost of business, and bracing for the challenges to secure democracy for all Arizonans," declared Secretary Adrian Fontes. "I'm grateful to have co-chair Chris Cummiskey and ASU's Rao Kambhampati, esteemed Arizonans, playing pivotal advisory roles. This Committee is tasked with forecasting how technology can impact election integrity, to stimulate innovation and competition within Arizona's dynamic technology sector."

Committee Members
Chris Cummiskey, Co-Chair Cummiskey Strategic Solutions, LLC
Gowri Ramachandran, Co-Chair Brennan Center for Justice
Michael Bruter London School of Economics
Camille Carlton Center for Humane Technology
Jacky Chang Independent Consultant
David Evan Harris UC Berkeley
Aaron Hayman SocialScout, LLC
Toshi Hoo Institute for the Future
Rao Kambhampati Arizona State University
Tom Latkowski The Aspen Institute
Matt Masterson Microsoft
Noah Praetz The Elections Group
Bruce Schneier Harvard University
Becky Waite OpenAI
Rachael Dean Wilson German Marshall Fund

Secretary Fontes has been a proactive leader in addressing the rapid advancements in AI technology. Following a series of successful tabletop exercises for election officials starting in December 2023, his administration has expanded its training programs to include law enforcement and national media. These initiatives earned the 2023 Clearie Award for Outstanding Innovations in Election Cybersecurity and Technology from the Election Assistance Commission.

The committee will convene monthly, leading up to a major in-person event in December/January. Their discussions will focus on the dual nature of generative AI—its potential benefits and inherent risks to election security. While only 7% of election officials nationally currently use AI for tasks such as social media content and voter material translation, there is a growing demand for clear guidance on the responsible use of AI technologies in government.

One key area of focus will be the development of standards for labeling synthetic content, such as implementing certified digital signature technologies to verify the authenticity of AI-generated outputs. This is part of a broader effort to ensure the safe and responsible development of AI models by a diverse ecosystem of developers, deployers, and end-users.

The public is invited to stay informed through updates from the Secretary of State's communications office, although committee meetings will remain closed for security reasons. A comprehensive report will be presented in January 2025.

 

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Aaron Thacker
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