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County Leaders Need AI and Cyber Security Knowledge




Hey Neighbors!


After some much needed time off with my wife and kids I am getting back out there in the community connecting with folks. It is so exciting to be here, and I am very much looking forward to continuing our campaign for change!


This last week, I had the pleasure of attending two insightful events: The Mountain Community Resources Open House and the Valley Women's Club Annual Luncheon. Visiting with the dedicated team at Mountain Community Resources (MCR) reminded me of the vital work they do in supporting our most vulnerable community members. Having directly experienced their invaluable assistance after the CZU Fire, I hold a deep personal gratitude for MCR's efforts.



At the Valley Women's Club Luncheon, I had the opportunity to hear from some of our elected officials, including Assemblymember Gail Pellerin. Her remarks on potential legislation to prohibit the use of AI in a certain timeframe before and after elections struck a chord. Gail highlighted an important issue that underscores why county leaders must prioritize developing competence in artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity.


As someone broadly certified in cybersecurity and well-versed in AI applications, I can plainly see that technology is changing how governments work and serve people. Two key areas county supervisors must understand are artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity. As someone broadly certified in cybersecurity and very knowledgeable about AI, I believe it's important for county leaders to get up to speed.


AI is being used more and more in government and business for things like automating tasks, analyzing data, and making decisions. But using AI properly requires understanding what it can and can't do and being aware of potential risks like bias, along with the potential societal impact. There will be impacts on learning in our schools, and in employment and public safety that government leaders will need to stay ahead of the curve on to keep our communities thriving and safe.


County supervisors who know AI basics can make better choices about if and how to use AI systems. Cybersecurity is crucial because so much government work is online these days. Counties face threats like hacking (including devastating ransomware attacks), data breaches, and system outages. Supervisors familiar with cybersecurity can promote best practices, dedicate proper resources, and instill a culture of awareness about info-security. County IT staff will need a partner on the board who can grasp the deep challenges related to technology that are upcoming, and to help craft pro-active policy that prepares our communities for the change and complexity that is coming.


This will help protect critical systems and data and maintain public trust.


Between myself and my opponent, I am by far best-equipped to provide guidance in these areas as a county leader. My technical knowledge will allow me to assess risks, implement safeguards, and ensure we follow regulations. Those same skills skills help me separate reality from hype and identify worthwhile AI applications for our county; we are all deeply aware of our upcoming budgetary issues, and we can ill afford poor tech choices that increase our financial burden instead of lessening it.


The world is getting more digital by the day. There is no getting away from that. County supervisors must evolve their technological know-how, especially when it comes to AI and cybersecurity. I'm committed to championing this competency so our county can securely take advantage of new innovations that benefit our community.


In Community, always.


Christopher



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2 Comments


Jen Miller
Jen Miller
May 01

Hi Christopher, Thanks so much for initiating this effort, and for your valuable expertise. I work in education technology, where we are seeing amazing opportunities that help students and educators using AI. It is going to make a very positive difference if managed appropriately, as you suggest, in our local government. I'm doing a Stanford alumni event on Saturday to test a new AI app - another effort being very thoughtful to gather input and test tools for unexpected bias. Keep us posted! Also I'm eager to help with your runoff campaign.


Jennifer - Scotts Valley

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Howard Florio
Howard Florio
May 01

Christopher, you're right "on the money", so to speak. As you are probably aware, there was a Comcast "data breach" last October, with one of their partner companies, Citrix, I think. I received a "dreaded Trojan Horse email" a week or so ago. Comcast didn't alert me until December or later and have spent hours for several days changing 20 or more passwords. Especially troublesome was MyHealth (I spent an hour with Stanford IT on the phone), MyHealth Online and banking sites. Since, most if not all of us in the county depend on Comcast for internet, phone (I still have a "POTS" line) and TV/Streaming this is alarming to me. Thanks for your effort.


-Howard , North Boulder Creek.

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