Italy has taken action to ban ChatGPT over alleged privacy violations. On March 31, the Italian Data Protection Authority said the AI chatbot would be temporarily blocked in the country "with immediate effect" and they will be investigating the company behind the technology, OpenAI.
In a press release, the agency alleges that OpenAI is violating the European Union’s privacy law, known as GDPR, as it has no legal basis to justify the “massive collection” of personal data that's used to train the AI.
They also argue that OpenAI doesn’t provide enough information about how much data it collects. Furthermore, they cite concerns that ChatGPT doesn't have any age verification so children risk being exposed to content that is “absolutely inappropriate to their age and awareness.”
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot that’s been designed to respond to text in a conversational way. The technology is based on a large language model, a deep learning algorithm that can understand, process, predict, and generate text based on knowledge gained from massive datasets.
Through its deep understanding of language patterns, it’s able to pull off some incredible feats of apparent intelligence. People have already been using the tool to write computer code and some media outlets even use it to write their news articles (with mixed results). It’s so smart it was even capable of passing a US medical licensing exam.
ChatGPT was only launched in November 2022, but it has truly taken the world by storm, with many believing it has the potential to spark a technological revolution on par with the advent of the internet.
It’s simultaneously kicked up a fair amount of controversy. The radical shift in technology has fostered fears that AI, if not managed properly, could become too powerful to control and pose an existential threat to humanity.
Just this week, a lengthy list of prominent figures, including Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, signed an open letter asking for all AI experiments to be paused immediately due to the "profound risks to society and humanity.”
“AI systems with human-competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity, as shown by extensive research and acknowledged by top AI labs,” the letter reads.
“Advanced AI could represent a profound change in the history of life on Earth, and should be planned for and managed with commensurate care and resources. Unfortunately, this level of planning and management is not happening, even though recent months have seen AI labs locked in an out-of-control race to develop and deploy ever more powerful digital minds that no one – not even their creators – can understand, predict, or reliably control,” it adds.