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Kentucky lawmakers asked to consider school monitoring of AI technologies

 Senate Minority Caucus Chair Reginald Thomas, D-Lexington, comments about the Senate Rules during the opening day of the 2024 Kentucky General Assembly.
DAVID M.HARGIS PHOTOGRAPHER
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LRC Public Information
Senate Minority Caucus Chair Reginald Thomas, D-Lexington, comments about the Senate Rules during the opening day of the 2024 Kentucky General Assembly.

Proposed legislation would develop plans for the implementation of artificial intelligence in Kentucky's public schools. Early indications are that it could get bipartisan support.

Democratic Sen. Reggie Thomas of Lexington sponsored the legislation that calls for AI reporting from Kindergarten through college.

He said the measure would require school districts to report the use annually and establishes a working group to monitor higher education AI use. Thomas said artificial intelligence is only going to expand.

“That’s all I want to do is make sure it’s being used in ways that will help us and advance us as opposed to harming us,” Thomas said.

The exponential growth of AI is a national issue that deserves congressional action, but states can’t wait for that, he said.

Senate Education Committee Chair Steve West of Paris, a Republican, noted school districts are already grappling with how to deal with AI. He added artificial intelligence is here to stay and Thomas’ measure sounds like a concept that makes sense.

Republican Sen. David Givens of Greensburg said he’s intrigued by the conversation about AI and student learning.

“It is vitally important that we arm our future citizens and voters with the knowledge to discern fact from non-fact, source from artificial source. And so, I can certainly be open to a conversation regarding the legislation, but again I’ve not had the chance to take a full look at it,” Givens said.

Thomas said he anticipates the bill to get a Senate committee hearing.