Italy has become the first Western nation to ban the advanced chatbot, ChatGPT. The Italian data protection authority expressed concerns about the model, which was developed by the US start-up OpenAI and is supported by Microsoft. The regulator stated that it would ban and probe OpenAI immediately.
ChatGPT has been used by millions of individuals since its inception in November 2022. It can respond to queries in natural, human-like language and mimic other writing styles, using the internet as it was in 2021 as its database.
Microsoft has invested billions of dollars on it, and it was recently added to Microsoft search engine, Bing. It has also stated that it will incorporate a form of the technology into its Office applications, which include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
Concerns have been raised about the possible risks of artificial intelligence (AI), including job loss and the spread of misinformation and bias. Earlier this week, key figures in technology, including Elon Musk, called for the suspension of these types of AI systems, citing concerns that the race to create them was out of control.
The Italian data protection authority stated that it would not only block OpenAI’s chatbot, but would also examine whether it complied with the General Data Protection Regulation. GDPR governs how we can use, process, and keep personal data.
On March 20, the Italian watchdog announced that the app had suffered a data breach involving user conversations and payment details.
It stated that there was no legal foundation for “mass collection and storage of personal data for the purpose of ‘training’ the algorithms underlying the platform’s operation.”
It also claimed that because there was no way to verify users’ ages, the app “exposes minors to absolutely inappropriate answers compared to their level of development and awareness.” Because of the same concerns, Google’s rival artificial-intelligence chatbot, Bard, is now accessible, but only to specific users over the age of 18.
The Italian data-protection authority said OpenAI had 20 days to respond to the watchdog’s concerns or face a fine of €20 million ($21.7 million) or up to 4% of yearly revenues.
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