A new report from Stanford University found that in 2022, U.S. governments are doing a lot of talking about AI, but they’re also taking a lot of action. Last year 35 percent of all state-level AI bills were passed into law.

California leads the list – signing five AI bills into law in 2022 – followed by Maryland with three new laws.

Colorado, New Jersey, and Washington passed two new AI laws last year, and Alabama, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Vermont also all made the list, signing one AI bill into law in 2022.

Stanford’s report also highlights that interest in K–12 AI and computer science education grew throughout the country last year. According to the study, 27 states in 2022 required that all high schools offer a computer science course.

The top three states in terms of the rate of computer science teaching are Maryland – 98 percent – South Carolina – 93 percent – and Arkansas – 92 percent.

Diversity in American K-12 and higher education computer science programs was another top takeaway from Stanford’s report.

American K–12 computer science education has become more diverse, in terms of both gender and ethnicity, the study highlights.

It is still the case that male students take more AP computer science exams than any other gender, but the proportion of female students has almost doubled in the last decade. Alabama had the largest number of female AP computer science test-takers – 36 percent – while Washington, D.C., Nevada, Louisiana, Tennessee, Maryland, and New York followed closely behind.

The study concludes that White students are still the greatest test-taking group – 42.7 percent – however, over time, more Asian, Hispanic, and Black students have taken AP computer science exams.

Higher education is also becoming more diverse, with bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD-level computer science students varying in ethnicity. For example, the study finds that in 2011, 71.9 percent of new resident CS bachelor’s graduates were white. In 2021, that number dropped to 46.7 percent.

However, new AI PhDs are still overwhelmingly male. In 2021, 78.7 percent of new AI PhDs were male, while only 21.3 percent were female – a 3.2 percentage point increase from 2011. There continues to be a gender imbalance in higher-level AI education, Stanford says.

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