Governor Glenn Youngkin of Virginia has signed an executive order to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) use in state agencies and education. Acknowledging the long-standing use of AI by state agencies, particularly in processing data and automating decisions, Youngkin aims to establish guidelines for ethical AI use. The order emphasizes the need for human oversight to address potential biases in AI programming and data, requiring agencies to ensure positive outcomes, undergo an approval process, and conduct security tests. Del. Michelle Maldonado views the order as a positive step and is concurrently pushing for legislative efforts to address AI, focusing on operating standards and protection against discrimination.

In education, the executive order outlines principles for teaching about morality, ethics, and the potential negative impacts of AI. The order emphasizes using AI to enhance student success and learning practices without replacing teachers in the classroom. While Youngkin supports AI use, he seeks a cautious and protective approach, ensuring data privacy and preparation for future jobs. Andrew Wheeler, Virginia’s director of regulatory management, mentions the administration’s belief in AI as a tool for efficiency but downplays drastic workforce shifts due to AI. Public relations professor Cayce Myers, however, predicts AI will fundamentally change the workforce by phasing out jobs dependent on older technology.

The order also allocates $600,000 for pilots to evaluate the established standards, with a task force monitoring implementation. Wheeler indicates Youngkin’s willingness to amend standards if deemed necessary after review, reflecting an adaptive approach to the evolving landscape of AI technology and its impact on society.