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Virginia Governor Signs Another Executive Order on AI

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s latest executive order on artificial intelligence targets the use of the technology in the classroom and offers standards to safeguard state databases and individual data.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin pointing.
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
(Stephen M. Katz/The Virginian-Pilot/TNS)
Last week, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed an executive order outlining new education guidelines and data standards for artificial intelligence.

The order, formally known as Executive Order 30 (EO30), does two things primarily. First, it implements AI education guidelines for the classroom. Second, it implements AI policy and information technology standards to safeguard data.

“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,” said Youngkin in an announcement.

This follows an executive order Youngkin signed in September 2023, which was aimed at the responsible use of AI by focusing on legal protections, policy standards, IT safeguards and ed tech implications.

He further explained that the goal is to use AI technologies to make government service delivery more efficient and effective.

The state will use $600,000 in funding from his Unleashing Opportunity budget to launch pilots using AI. The goal is to help the state evaluate the effectiveness of the new standards.

The education guidelines offer three key components: guiding principles, strategies for success, and roles and responsibilities.

The guidelines offer more detail under each of these components; for example, the resource lists several tactics for using AI successfully in education, such as providing professional development to educators. Under "Roles and Responsibilities," the guidelines underline specific duties of agencies such as the Virginia Department of Education, which include developing stakeholder training toolkits and workshops.

The other thing the executive order does is implement the AI policy and information standards, which aim to safeguard state databases and individual data.

This resource offers thorough standards detailing how AI is and is not to be used in the state. The standards set technological requirements for use and approval process for AI initiatives within government agencies.

Finally, EO30 calls for the developing of standards for use of AI by law enforcement personnel.