Italy Bans ChatGPT Due To Data Collection Concerns

 Italy's data protection authority on Friday temporarily banned OpenAI's ChatGPT chatbot, launching an investigation over a suspected breach of the app's data collection rules.

Reuters reported that the authority accused Microsoft-backed OpenAI of failing to verify the age of its users, who are supposed to be at least 13 years old, according to Italian law. The authority added that ChatGPT had no legal basis for collecting and storing this large amount of personal data in order to use it in training the chatbot. The regulator gave OpenAI twenty days to take appropriate action, or it will face a fine of up to 4% of its annual worldwide sales.

While ChatGPT has generated unprecedented interest since its launch, the technology has raised concerns about its collection of user data, potential use to compose misinformation, copyright infringement, and malware writing.

The latest development comes days after an open letter signed by a group of prominent scientists, researchers, businessmen and politicians, in which they called on OpenAI to stop developing the GPT-4 model until the world reaches laws that limit the potential dangers of artificial intelligence technologies.

“Contemporary artificial intelligence systems are now able to compete with humans in public tasks, and we must ask ourselves: Should we allow machines to flood our information channels with propaganda and lies?” the letter states.

The letter also stated: “Should we automate all jobs, including: satisfactory jobs? Should we develop non-human brains that may eventually outnumber, outsmart, and advance us, and replace us? Should we risk losing control of our civilization? "Such decisions should not be delegated to unelected technical leaders," the letter added.

ChatGPT, an AI-powered chatbot, amazed researchers with its ability to produce human-like responses to user requests. By January, the bot had attracted one million monthly active users, less than two months after its launch, making it the fastest growing consumer app in history.

The technology is trained on huge amounts of data from the internet and has been used to create everything. From poetry in the style of (William Shakespeare) to drafting legal opinions in court cases.

But AI ethicists have also raised concerns about potential abuses of the technology, such as plagiarism and disinformation.

It is reported that ChatGPT is banned in a number of countries such as Russia, China and Iran, but this is the first time that the application has been banned in a western country.

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