(The Center Square) – Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed an executive order to implement artificial intelligence standards and guidelines he says will protect Virginians.

Executive Order 30 will implement AI educational guidelines for the classroom and policy and information technology standards. He says it will “safeguard the state’s databases while simultaneously protecting individual data” for Virginians.

The executive order promises to protect Virginians and businesses while “recognizing opportunities” the technology presents.

“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.

The governor stressed the importance of utilizing AI in delivering government services while pledging funds to study the new standards.

“At the same time, we must utilize these innovative technologies to deliver state services more efficiently and effectively,” he said. “Therefore, my administration will utilize the $600,000 in proposed funds outlined in my Unleashing Opportunity budget to launch pilots that evaluate the effectiveness of these new standards.”

In a release from Youngkin’s office announcing the order, the statement highlights the need to address the impacts of AI. Virginia is home to the largest consolidation of cybersecurity companies and personnel on the East Coast. 

In addition, the state is also home to the nation’s most critical national security and military intelligence institutions, including the Central Intelligence Agency.

The educational guidelines, which address the use of AI in all education levels, aim to ensure students will be better prepared for the workforce “without sacrificing any current learning opportunities.” 

In addition, the order also calls for the development of AI standards to be used by law enforcement.

The new policy and standards established through the executive order will be available through the Virginia Information Technologies Agency. 

“The Standards set the technological requirements for the use of AI within government agencies and the approval process for AI initiatives to ensure the safe and ethical use of such initiatives,” according to the release.

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