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Shifting AI Podcast: Establishing AI Guidelines in the Workplace with Seattle’s Interim CTO, Jim Loter



Jim Loter, the interim Chief Technology Officer of the City of Seattle, is a seasoned tech leader overseeing IT-related projects within various city departments. With a focus on managing risks associated with generative artificial intelligence, Loter is spearheading a new learning initiative to help city employees explore and implement emerging technology effectively. One of his key goals is to build internal systems and checkpoints to ensure the safe and responsible use of AI tools by department officials, prioritizing effectiveness and productivity.

In a recent episode of the Shift AI Podcast, Loter shared insights on adapting to the digital age of remote work and AI in the workplace. Discussing his role at the City of Seattle, Loter highlighted the department’s mission-driven approach to providing IT services that enhance the quality of life for residents. He emphasized the importance of collaborating with city departments to deliver innovative solutions, showcasing a commitment to leveraging technology for public benefit.

Loter’s efforts to develop AI guidelines for the City of Seattle involved engaging multiple stakeholders, including the University of Washington, the Allen Institute for AI, and industry experts from Microsoft, Adobe, and AWS. By adopting a comprehensive and inclusive approach, the city has established policies that prioritize common-sense strategies for managing the impact of AI technology. Loter underscored the importance of protecting public privacy and data integrity in all technology implementations, reiterating existing mandates within a new AI context.

As part of the city’s responsible AI program, Loter highlighted the focus on human-in-the-loop reviews to ensure transparency and accuracy in information generated by AI systems. By promoting accountability and ethical use of AI technology, the city aims to align its practices with core values and community goals. Collaborating with Mayor Bruce Harrell, Loter presented the city’s work on AI at a national conference, sparking interest and discussions among city leaders on the implications of generative AI technology for urban governance.

Looking ahead, Loter emphasized the enthusiasm among city employees for exploring AI technology and participating in future initiatives. By convening a community of interested individuals within the city, Loter aims to foster a culture of learning and collaboration around AI implementation. With a strong commitment to responsible innovation, the City of Seattle is taking proactive steps to leverage AI technology for the benefit of its residents while upholding ethical standards and maintaining public trust.

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