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Lots has been said about the ways in which artificial intelligence may augment employees’ work. But first, local governments will need to successfully manage the learning curve.

When Tempe, Arizona, released its policy last year on the ethical use of artificial intelligence, a striking sentence within its pages turned heads.

The policy said that the city of Tempe would “encourage collaboration between humans and AI systems, leveraging the strengths of both to enhance decision-making processes and ensure that ultimate control remains with humans.”

Tempe was one of the first cities to issue guidance on the use of AI. But even now, when such policies have seemingly become almost ubiquitous among city and state governments, that policy stands for some as a guidepost of what AI could be.

Alan Shark, the executive director of the Public Technology Institute, a division of the nonprofit Fusion Learning Partners, said it represents a glimpse at the “human-machine partnership.”

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