Italy bans ChatGPT, accuses OpenAI of violating EU privacy laws

Italy has placed a temporary ban on OpenAI’s ChatGPT language tool apparently due to privacy violations. The European country is set to keep the ban installed until OpenAI adheres to the European Union’s privacy laws, per Zero Hedge.

In a statement published on Friday, the Italian National Authority for Personal Data Protection suggested that the language tool did not adhere to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in numerous ways, including the failure to prevent underage people from accessing the product and illegally processing people’s data.

Zero Hedge reported that the privacy regulator in Italy has given OpenAI 20 days to respond to the order or face penalties, saying: “OpenAI, which does not have an office in the Union but has designated a representative in the European Economic Area, must communicate within 20 days the measures undertaken in implementation of what is requested by the Guarantor, under penalty of a fine of up to 20 million euros or up to 4% of the annual global turnover.”

There has been substantial pushback against language model tools in recent days, with some suggesting that these tools present dire risks to humanity. Computer scientists and other tech gurus such as Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak have signed a petition that would place a six-month pause on the development of artificial language tools. 

The AP reported that the letter states that AI systems which have “human-competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity,” adding that there is the potential for an onslaught of disinformation and automation that would swipe jobs away from humans.

The petition continued, saying “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.”

“We call on all AI labs to immediately pause for at least 6 months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4,” noting that this pause “should be public and verifiable, and include all key actors. If such a pause cannot be enacted quickly, governments should step in and institute a moratorium.”

It is still not clear if the necessary tech giants have adhered to the requests drawn out in the petition, but it appears that the development of uber-intelligent AI systems are here to stay.


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