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Virginia to Implement AI Rules for State Agencies, Classrooms

AI regulation

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has signed an executive order implementing guidelines and standards for artificial intelligence (AI).

The state’s AI Education Guidelines apply to classrooms while the AI Policy and Information Technology Standards are designed to protect Virginia’s databases, and therefore the individual data of the state’s residents, the governor’s office said in a Friday (Jan. 19) press release.

“These standards and guidelines will help provide the necessary guardrails to ensure that AI technology will be safely implemented across all state agencies and departments,” Youngkin said in the release. “At the same time, we must utilize individual technologies to deliver state services more efficiently and effectively.”

Together with implementing these measures, the administration will dedicate $600,000 to launch pilots that will evaluate their effectiveness, according to the release.

With the signing of the executive order, Virginia has become one of the first states to issue AI standards, the release said.

These standards are necessary because of the number of cybersecurity companies, colleges, universities, and national security and military intelligence institutions that are located in Virginia, the release said.

The policy and information technology standards set technological requirements for the use of AI within government agencies and establish an approval process to ensure the safe and ethical use of the technology, per the release.

“As the availability of AI products continues to increase, it is vital that we recognize both the usefulness of the technology and the necessity to place guardrails on its use in order to protect Virginians against potential misuse,” the executive order said.

The education guidelines cover the use of AI at all levels of education “to ensure that our students will be prepared for the jobs of tomorrow without sacrificing any current learning opportunities,” the release said.

“AI’s application in the educational ecosystem cannot be a substitute for teacher-facilitated instruction and learning experiences; however, it can be an important tool to transform, support and complement tailored and effective educational experiences,” the executive order said.

As generative AI has evolved rapidly in recent years, laws are likely to adapt and follow, according to “Regulating Generative AI: The Six Storylines of 2023,” an eBook produced by CPI, a PYMNTS Company.