June 3, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Italy blocks ChatGPT chatbot

Italy blocks ChatGPT chatbot

Will Italy lead the fight against artificial intelligence? The country announced on Friday it was blocking chatbot ChatGPT over data usage issues, two months after banning Replica, another program marketed as a “virtual friend”.

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In a press release, the Italian Personal Data Protection Authority warned that its decision has “immediate effect” and accused ChatGPT of not respecting European regulations and not having a system to verify the age of minor users.

The decision will lead to a “temporary limitation of the processing of Italian user data vis-à-vis OpenAI”, the company behind the application, she adds.

ChatGPT appeared in November and was quickly taken over by users impressed by its ability to clearly answer difficult questions, write sonnets or write computer code.

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Funded by computer giant Microsoft, it adds to its many services, which are sometimes presented as a potential competitor to Google’s search engine.

The Italian authority asserted in its press release that ChatGPT “lost data related to user conversations on March 20 and information related to the payment of subscribers to the payment service.”

She criticized him for “the lack of an information note for users whose data is collected by OpenAI, but above all the lack of a legal basis justifying the collection and massive storage of personal data, + for algorithms for training++”. Make the platform work”.

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Furthermore, although the robot is intended for people over 13 years old, “there is no filter to verify the age of the users so there are no answers for minors,” the authority stressed. according to their developmental level.

Earlier in February, the same company blocked the Replica application, which offers chatting with a custom avatar. Some users have complained of receiving bold messages and images close to sexual harassment.

This time, the authority asks OpenAI to “communicate within 20 days the measures taken” to correct this situation, “under penalty of up to 20 million euros or 4% of annual worldwide turnover”, the maximum provided by the European Regulation on Personal Data (GDPR).

The case shows that GDPR, which has already fined tech giants billions of dollars, could also become an enemy of new content-generating AIs.

The European Union is also preparing a bill to regulate artificial intelligence, which could be finalized in late 2023 or early 2024 for application a few years later.

Because AI presents far deeper fears than just the exploitation of personal data.

European police agency Europol warned on Monday that criminals are ready to use artificial intelligence such as the ChatGPT chatbot to commit fraud and other cyber crimes.

From phishing to disinformation or malware, the ever-evolving capabilities of chatbots are likely to be quickly exploited by malicious actors, Europol said in a report.

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They can also be used to cheat in exams and ChatGPT was blocked soon after its release in many schools or universities around the world. Even big companies have advised their employees not to use the application for fear of leaking sensitive data.

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Finally, billionaire Elon Musk, one of OpenAI’s founders, has since left the board, and hundreds of global experts signed a call for a six-month pause in intelligence research on Wednesday. More powerful than GPT-4. ChatGPT-based software was launched in mid-March, citing “major threats to humanity”.