italy lifts ban on chatgpt

OpenAI’s ChatGPT is accessible in Italy after nearly a month of ban after the company added privacy disclosures and controls to meet the requirements set up by the country’s regulator.

In late March, Italy temporarily banned ChatGPT – becoming the first Western country to do so. The service is otherwise banned by several countries including Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran.

Italy was concerned about ChatGPT violating privacy laws like the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

The other countries that banned ChatGPT are authoritarian regimes that aren’t exactly too worried about the privacy of their citizens but are instead wary of AI tools – with China reportedly looking to censor AI in the country.

After Italy’s ban, there were reports that even Germany might do so – but it hasn’t come to fruition so far.

In its emailed response to Associated Press, OpenAI said, “ChatGPT is available again to our users in Italy.”

It said, that “it has addressed or clarified the issues” raised by Italian watchdog Garante and added, “we are excited to welcome them back, and we remain dedicated to protecting their privacy.”

Garante said that it “welcomes the measures OpenAI implemented” but called upon the company to implement the two other impending demands – an age verification system and a publicity campaign that informs Italians that they can opt out of data processing.

Italy Lift ChatGPT Ban – EU Regulation Could Follow Soon

Meanwhile, it is not that only Italy is worried about privacy and copyright issues when it comes to generative AI tools like ChatGPT.

The European Commission has been working on the AI Act for around two years but a sense of urgency now seems to be creeping in – amid the growing popularity – and the multiple concerns associated with generative AI.

The European Parliament has agreed to put the draft to the next stage where member states along with EU lawmakers would draft the final details.

The draft proposes to classify AI tools based on the perceived risk levels ranging from minimal to unacceptable.

Also, companies would need to disclose if they used any copyrighted material to develop their tools.

AI Regulations are a Burning Issue

Even as tech companies continue to pour billions into AI, the rise of generative AI tools like ChatGPT is making regulators scramble for regulatory oversight.

There are calls to regulate AI in the US as well – with Elon Musk – who intends to start his own AI company called “TruthGPT” being among the pioneers.

Earlier this week Musk also met Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other US lawmakers to discuss AI regulations.

Meanwhile amid slowing growth in their core businesses companies ranging from Meta Platforms, Snap, Microsoft, and Alphabet are betting on AI to revive their fortunes.

Microsoft has committed billions of dollars to ChatGPT’s parent company OpenAI while cutting costs elsewhere.

The pivot would not be smooth as AI might render several roles redundant – which was corroborated by the 500 layoffs that Dropbox recently announced.

Dropbox CEO Drew Houston said that ideally, the company would have shifted the impacted employees to other teams.

He however stressed, “our next stage of growth requires a different mix of skill sets, particularly in AI and early-stage product development.”

As for regulators, they are also worried about issues related to privacy and copyright along with the ability of AI tools like ChatGPT to spur fraud.

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