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Bipartisan Virginia Technology & Innovation Caucus Announces Al Technology Initiative

Michelle for VA

Jun 8, 2023

RICHMOND, VA — On June 8, the VA Technology & Innovation Caucus, a bipartisan and bicameral group of Virginia legislators focused on new and emerging technologies in the Commonwealth, announced an Al Technology Initiative to explore opportunities, risks, and impacts associated with Artificial lntelligence (AI) and technology use in government processes and decision-making. This Initiative also will have a follow-on focus of helping develop industry guidance and best practices in partnership with representatives from across diverse industry sectors.

The Al Technology Initiative will help Virginia continue to be at the forefront of technological innovation while prioritizing the welfare of its citizens. "We co-founded the bipartisan T&I Caucus in 2022 to help educate and inform Virginia legislators and the public about the power, impact and opportunities presented by Al and related technologies," said Delegate Maldonado, Founding Chair of the Technology & Innovation Caucus. "Technology has moved at the speed of light and policy and regulatory frameworks have not kept up. The time for action is now to help align government infrastructure as we establish trust and accountability on the way to collaboratively creating future guidance in partnership with industry. Al impacts all of us and I am pleased that we are working together in a bipartisan way to keep Virginia safe, competitive, and innovative."

Initial organizing members of the Al Technology Initiative include T&I Caucus Founding Chair Delegate Michelle Lopes Maldonado, Senator Bill DeSteph, Delegate Jackie Glass, Delegate Keith Hodges, and Delegate Rodney Willett. Members will bring together people from various fields, including Al, technology, law, government, academia, and public policy to support efforts that establish sound policy, legislation, regulatory frameworks, and best practices in Virginia.

"Using Al in government decision-making can greatly enhance efficiency and responsiveness. However, we must ensure that these systems adhere to the highest transparency, fairness, and accountability standards," said Delegate Glass. "With this working group, we can proactively address the challenges and opportunities presented by Al through thoughtful legislation and a framework that emphasizes proactive measures and continuous improvement of Al systems."

"Al is more than a cutting-edge concept; it's the future, rapidly defining the contours of our everyday life. The VA Technology & Innovation Caucus' Al Technology Initiative is our way of ensuring that Virginia doesn't merely follow this wave but leads it," remarked Senator Bill DeSteph. "In crafting our Al policy, it's crucial that we let the free market be our guide. Innovators should not be shackled, but encouraged. This dynamic sector can and should be left to push the boundaries, unhindered by unnecessary regulation. That's how we've always driven progress in America, and that's how we'll harness the incredible potential of Al for the benefit of all Virginians."

"Virginia has been a leader in technology innovation for decades," highlighted Delegate Rodney Willett. "We have developed corresponding government processes and policies that enable the use of new technologies while respecting and protecting citizens' privacy interests. Al presents us with the next opportunity to find that balance of interests."

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