Artificial Intelligence (AI) is all the rage right now. And it should be.
AI is going to affect a lot of jobs. It could completely replace Google search for the search engine experience. It could encourage laziness and allow some people to skate by rather than do the work. The implications of AI (and associated risks) have caused Elon Musk to call for a halt on AI research while governance and oversight are better established. But there is a lot of money at stake and a lot of market share to dominate, so I suspect there won’t be a lot of pause happening.
I fired up a ChatGPT session to “discuss” the city management profession. Essentially, I asked it a series of questions about city management to test its “intelligence.”
- What does a city manager do?
- What kind of person makes a good city manager?
- How can I find a good city manager for my city?
- Who are the top city managers in California?
- How can I become a city manager?
- How can a city council most effectively manage their city manager?
- What is the best thing about being a city manager?
- What is the worst thing about being a city manager?
The answers were impressive.
As a quick preview, here was the result of my first question:
A city manager is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of a city government. This includes overseeing all city departments, preparing and implementing the city budget, and working with elected officials to develop policies and plans for the city’s future. The city manager also serves as the primary liaison between the city government and the community, working closely with residents, businesses, and community groups to address their needs and concerns. The role of a city manager can vary depending on the size and structure of the city government, but their primary responsibility is to ensure that the city government runs smoothly and effectively to serve the needs of the community.
The AI was quick to note that: “I do not have personal experiences or emotions to certify and my responses are purely based on research and texts.”
That said, the answers certainly were solid. Take a look at the detailed answers to all the questions.
AI is taking us into an interesting space. Our management team is starting work on AI governance and using policies for how we appropriately leverage this technology for our work with clients. Local government professionals would be wise to understand how AI is explaining or offering opinions about our niche world.