Governors for the states of Pennsylvania and Virginia have issued AI executive orders, which are meant to foster a better foundation for the rapidly growing AI sector in their states.
The guidelines provided cover a wide range of AI issues, ranging from counteracting bias to the implementation of training programs for government staff. This comes as both states acknowledge the role of AI in optimizing operations and efficiencies in the various government departments.
New board for implementation of AI standards
In Pennsylvania, Governor Josh Shapiro issued an executive directive that establishes a Generative AI Governing Board that operates under the Office of Administration for the state.
According to GT, the board will oversee the implementation of new AI standards in the state as well as spearhead training AI programs for government employees and oversee the development of AI safeguarding policies and customer data security.
“We can’t ignore new technology; we have to educate ourselves and be proactive to minimize the risks and maximize the benefits of innovation, and that’s the approach my administration is taking here in Pennsylvania,” said Governor Josh.
He said the integration of AI into the state’s government will help them move at the same pace as businesses and better serve the people.
The AI revolution has excited and terrified the world at the same time. Its transformative ability cannot be overlooked, yet there have also been growing concerns about the potential abuse of the technology by unscrupulous individuals.
With the success of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which spurred a boom in generative AI and led to the creation of rival chatbots like Bard from Google, Microsoft’s Bing, and the Chinese alternative Ernie Bot by Baidu, calls have been growing for a regulatory framework that supports innovation but in a responsible way.
Commenting on the benefits of the latest development of AI, chief information officer Amaya Capellan said: “I believe that emerging technologies like artificial intelligence are incredibly powerful tools that can help us improve service to our residents and supercharge our workforce—and it begins right now, today, with this Executive Order.”
Elsewhere in Virginia, its Governor Glenn Youngkin also issued an executive order for AI, which will focus on the responsible, ethical, and transparent use of the technology.
According to the document, the state of Virginia is looking to put more focus on AI usage, legal protections, policy standards, IT safeguards, K12, and higher education implications.
Governor Youngkin highlighted how Virginia is progressing in the technological era, and the use of AI would have them benefiting from these technologies.
“Virginia is a leader in technology and will stay a leader in technology,” said Governor Youngkin in a statement.
“The increasing use of AI, especially generative AI, offers tremendous opportunities to transform the way we serve all Virginians, from launching innovative personalized education tools to improving customer service and beyond,” added the governor.
Director of the Office of Regulatory Management Andrew Wheeler also added his voice to embracing AI innovation in government departments.
“The Commonwealth is home to one of the most innovative workforces and some of the most critical national security institutions in our country. Together with our academic research institutions, Virginia can lead the way in the transparent and innovative use of AI nationally.”
Dispelling the fears
As the AI technology continues to gain traction this year, there have also been some fears that the tech will become harmful to humans. Tech experts like Elon Musk penned an open letter that sought to halt further AI developments that might hurt humans until clear guardrails are put in place.
However, the executive order in Pennsylvania dispels such fears but emphasizes innovation for the betterment of the state.
“Although Generative AI cannot replace human activity or moral judgment, it can be used to its full potential when grounded in a balanced approach prioritizing Pennsylvania employees and encouraging innovative uses of technology to better serve Pennsylvanians,” reads part of the document.