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Virginia: Bill on use of AI by public bodies and establishing AI Commission introduced to Senate

On March 5, 2024, the Virginia State Senate approved the Virginia House Representatives substitute for Senate Bill 487 for an Act to direct the Joint Commission on Technology and Science to examine the use of artificial intelligence by public bodies in the Commonwealth and the creation of a Commission on Artificial Intelligence; report. On March 4, 2024, the bill was passed by the House of Representatives, after it was passed by the Virginia State Senate on February 6, 2024.

The bill, which was first introduced on January 9, 2024, defines artificial intelligence (AI) as the simulation of human intelligence processes by a machine, especially computer systems, such that it can adapt and learn on its own using machine algorithms that can analyze large volumes of training data to identify correlations, patterns, and other metadata that can be used to develop a model that can make predictions or recommendations based on future data inputs.

If enacted, the bill would prohibit any public body from implementing any system that employs AI unless such public body:

  • performs an initial impact assessment and ongoing impact assessments of such system to ensure its use will not result in any unlawful discrimination against any individual or group of individuals or have any disparate impact on any individual or group of individuals; and
  • does not implement or cease to use such a system if such effects occur.

If such systems are implemented, the bill would require the public body to submit an annual report on such assessments and provide an inventory of all such systems used to the appropriate entity designated in the bill.

Furthermore, the bill would mandate the creation of the Commission on AI to advise the General Assembly on issues related to AI and to make advisory recommendations on its findings.

You can read the bill here and track its progress here.

Update: March 13, 2024

Bill sent to Governor for action

On March 11, 2024, the bill was enrolled and sent to the Governor of Virginia for action. The Senate President and the House Speaker signed the bill on March 9 and March 8, 2024, respectively.

You can read the bill here and track its progress here.

Update: April 9, 2024

Bill signed into law by Governor

On April 8, 2024, the bill was signed into law by the Governor of Virginia and will take effect on July 1, 2025.

You can read the bill here and view its history here.