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Italy Becomes First Western Country to Ban ChatGPT, What About Other Countries?

UTC by Ibukun Ogundare · 3 min read
Italy Becomes First Western Country to Ban ChatGPT, What About Other Countries?
Photo: Pixabay

With the flagged worries, OpenAI has 20 days to resolve the issues and provide solutions or face penalties in Italy.

Italy has banned the popular artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT, becoming the first Western country to formally forbid its use. OpenAI caused a stir in the market when it unveiled ChatGPT. While many embraced the technology and believed it was a game-changer that would impact different industries, others were skeptical about it. As a matter of fact, many technology companies have started rolling out ChatGPT-like AI tools.

Last week, Coinspeaker reported suspicion of ChatGPT breaching data privacy rules in Italy. The Data Protection Authority called for the suspension of the technology after a platform breach on the 20th of March. According to the agency, users’ data was revealed through OpenAI’s chatbot. As a result of the possible breaches, the European country launched an investigation to find out if the OpenAI chatbot violated or complied with General Data Protection Regulation. In addition to exposing users’ conversations, the Italian watchdog reported a data breach affecting information on subscribers’ payments.

Italy Bans ChatGPT

Additionally, the Data Protection Authority noted that ChatGPT has no legal grounds that support the mass collection and processing of users’ personal data to “train” the platform’s algorithms. There is also concern about exposing children to inappropriate content. The watchdog stated that there is no age verification mechanism that curbs ChatGPT from giving unsuitable responses to children. This is despite OpenAI’s terms of service saying that the tool is addressed to users aged 13 and above.

With the flagged worries, OpenAI has 20 days to resolve the issues and provide solutions or face penalties in Italy. The company risks facing a fine of 20 million euros ($21.8 million) or 4% of its global annual revenue.

More countries like Italy are also trying to regulate the rapid AI progression since the introduction of ChatGPT. The increase in the adoption of the human-like chatbot is making it difficult for governments to regulate. A futurist and global technology innovation advisor for John Deere, Sophie Hackford, mentioned a possible danger of the newly-emerged technology. She warned that the world has to be careful and avoid a situation where humans would have to submit to machines. The advisor added:

“Technology is here to serve us. It’s there to make our cancer diagnosis quicker or make humans not have to do jobs that we don’t want to do. We need to be thinking about it very carefully now, and we need to be acting on that now, from a regulation perspective.”

The UK government has released a white paper for the AI industry, urging regulations for the burgeoning space. Although there is no direct target for ChatGPT, unlike in Italy, the British government said regulators need to provide “tailored, context-specific approaches that suit the way AI is being used in their sectors”.

Artificial Intelligence, News, Technology News
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