Rice’s Angela Wilkins named to Texas’ Artificial Intelligence Advisory Council

Angela Wilkins

Angela Wilkins, executive director of Rice University’s Ken Kennedy Institute, is one of four members appointed to the Texas Artificial Intelligence (AI) Advisory Council by Governor Greg Abbott. Established by House Bill 2060 and sponsored by Representative Giovanni Capriglione and Senator Tan Parker, the council studies and monitors AI systems developed, employed or procured by state agencies.

Angela Wilkins
Photo courtesy of Angela Wilkins/Rice University

“During this critical phase of technological evolution, establishing clear guidelines for artificial intelligence is essential,” Wilkins said. “At this point, where innovation meets responsibility, the policies we enact will significantly influence AI’s impact on our society. It is imperative that we thoughtfully implement this technology to not only stimulate business and technological advancement in Texas but to also maintain a steadfast commitment to fairness, accountability and transparency.”

Wilkins adds, “This is a defining moment in technological progress. I am deeply honored and excited to engage in this process that will sculpt the AI landscape in Texas. My involvement is a reflection of my dedication to ensuring that AI serves the common good and enhances our communities.”

In support of state efforts to reinforce Texas’ role as a leading destination for technology innovation, Wilkins together with fellow appointees John Bash, Mark Stone and Dean Teffer, will assess the necessity of a state code of ethics for AI, review automated decision systems, evaluate the risks and benefits of expanded AI implementation and inform administrative actions state agencies may take with respect to AI development.

“Rice University and the Ken Kennedy Institute are central to this mission,” Wilkins said. “Our expertise in innovative research and cross-disciplinary collaboration positions us to shape policy and advance ethical AI practices. We are committed to navigating the complexities of AI, maximizing its potential to meet global challenges while protecting stakeholder interests.”

Wilkins’ appointment follows on the heels of Rice joining the nation’s leading AI stakeholders as part of a Department of Commerce initiative to support the development and deployment of trustworthy and safe AI.

With expertise spanning AI, health and industry, Wilkins is a leading authority in computational science. In addition to her leadership role at Rice’s Ken Kennedy Institute, she serves on the Alliance for AI in Healthcare board and contributes to the Life Sciences Advisory Committee of the Greater Houston Partnership. Wilkins shares her experience through teaching classes such as “AI in Business” at Rice’s business school and crafting specialized programming with the executive education program. She earned a B.S. in physics from the University of Northern Colorado and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Lehigh University. Wilkins holds four patents, has been involved in several federally funded projects and has been published extensively. She is the founder of an AI company and advises multiple firms on AI applications.

The Ken Kennedy Institute is an interdisciplinary group that works collaboratively on groundbreaking research in artificial intelligence, data and computing to solve critical global challenges. The institute enables new conversations that drive convergent research, impact the development of new technology and advance training and education. The Ken Kennedy Institute is the virtual home of over 250 renowned faculty and senior research members at Rice University.