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Virginia Executive Directive Number Five

Virginia Executive Directive Number Five

As lawmakers in Washington D.C. go back and forth on potential AI regulations, one stateside Governor has issued an executive directive on AI. Virginia Governor Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced Executive Directive Number Five on September 20. In the announcement, Gov. Youngkin acknowledges the critical role that state governments must play when it comes to regulation and oversight of AI.

Gov. Youngkin says that the growing expansion of AI and its analytical power over the coming years is the reason behind his directive. He says the need for this in Virginia is because the state is home to a rapidly evolving entrepreneurial ecosystem as well as several colleges and universities which are leading the nation in technological research and development. That’s why in the directive, Gov. Youngkin calls for the Office of Regulatory Management (ORM) to coordinate with the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and other secretariats to address the legal and regulatory environment, look at AI’s impact on education and workforce development, modernize the state government’s use of AI and develop a plan when it comes to AI’s impact on economic development and job creation.

When it comes to laws and regulations, the directive calls for the ORM and CIO to tackle this issue in three ways. First, they want both to comb over existing laws and regulations to see how they may already apply to AI, and if the laws will need updating. Second, they want both to ensure that use of AI by the state government is transparent, security and impartial. Finally, they want both to make recommendations for uniform standards for responsible, ethical and transparent use of AI across all state agencies and offices.

For education and workforce development, the ORM and CIO will work with the Department of Education and higher education institutions to develop a plan. That plan must promote guidelines for the use of AI tools which impact learning and prohibit cheating, as well as examine the potential uses of AI tools for personalized tutoring, and include AI-related topics in technology, computer science and data analytics courses. For workforce development, the ORM and CIO must ensure public school students are prepared for future careers that involve AI technologies, and support opportunities for state colleges and universities to contribute to AI research through collaboration with public and private entities.

For modernization, the ORM and CIO will identify opportunities for the secure and transparent use of AI systems to improve state government operations. The ORM and CIO will also evaluate the potential effects of AI systems on functions of the government while making sure they’re protecting the data and privacy of the public. Finally, the ORM and CIO will develop ethical guidelines and best practices for the use of AI across the state government with a focus on accountability and transparency.

As for economic development and job creation, the directive calls for the ORM and CIO to work with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to develop a plan for five goals. The first goal is to identify potential industry clusters that may benefit from AI in the state. The second goal is to explore ways to encourage AI innovation and entrepreneurship in the state. The third goal is to assess the risk and opportunities of AI on the labor market. The fourth goal is to develop strategies to support workers who could be impacted by AI. The fifth goal is to coordinate with schools and workforce programs on the next steps to become AI-ready.

While finer details are missing from this executive order, the Directive was made official upon Gov. Youngkin’s signature. We may get those finer details by the end of this year because the ORM and CIO are tasked with completing the above actions and delivering recommendations on December 1, 2023.

If you have questions about government actions involving AI and AI audits, and how the rapidly changing legal landscape could affect your company. Reach out to BABL AI, they can answer all your questions and more.