The Italian Government cited concerns over privacy and overexposure to minors as the reason they temporarily suspended OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Several Major Nations Ban ChaptGPT, Including Italy For The Moment

On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean people approach AI completely differently than America does. In particular, Europeans have tried to create oversight for how AI is trained and how data from users is stored or even re-used.

You may recall about a week ago, Italy became the first Western nation to outright ban ChatGPT? The Italian data-protection authority said there were privacy concerns relating to the model, which was created by US start-up OpenAI and is backed by Microsoft. The regulator said it would ban and investigate OpenAI “with immediate effect”.

We found an article from that gives some of the pertinanat details to Italy’s decision about this chatbot from Open AI.

There have been concerns over the potential risks of artificial intelligence (AI), including its threat to jobs and the spreading of misinformation and bias. Earlier this week key figures in tech, including Elon Musk, called for these types of AI systems to be suspended amid fears the race to develop them was out of control.

The Italian watchdog said that not only would it block OpenAI’s chatbot but it would also investigate whether it complied with General Data Protection Regulation.

The GDPR regulates  how data is gathered and stored in Europe. The watchdog said on 20 March that the app had experienced a data breach involving user conversations and payment information.

It said there was no legal basis to justify “the mass collection and storage of personal data for the purpose of ‘training’ the algorithms underlying the operation of the platform”. It also said that since there was no way to verify the age of users, the app “exposes minors to absolutely unsuitable answers compared to their degree of development and awareness”.

Bard, Google’s rival artificial-intelligence chatbot, is now available, but only to specific users over the age of 18 – because of those same concerns.

The Italian data-protection authority said OpenAI had 20 days to say how it would address the watchdog’s concerns, under penalty of a fine of €20 million ($21.7m) or up to 4% of annual revenues.

Regulations Lacking

This story really lays out how far apart Europe and America are when it comes to regulating AI. Where as the Biden administration has produced a set of ‘guidelines’ for AI the Europenas have taken a far more serious approach to protect their citizens and particularly their children from the newer more powerful AI.

Ursula Pachl, deputy director general of BEUC, warned that society was “currently not protected enough from the harm” that AI can cause.

“There are serious concerns growing about how ChatGPT and similar chatbots might deceive and manipulate people. These AI systems need greater public scrutiny, and public authorities must reassert control over them,” she said.

And Of course ChatGPT has already been banned in the Eastern block of nations like China, Russia, North Korea and Iran. And it is very likely these nations already have their own versions of ChatGPT and the like.

OpenAI told the BBC that it had disabled ChatGPT for users in Italy at the request of the Italian data protection regulator, called the Garante:

“We are committed to protecting people’s privacy and we believe we comply with GDPR and other privacy laws”, it wrote.

The organisation said it worked to reduce personal data in training AI systems like ChatGPT because it wanted its AI systems to “learn about the world, not about private individuals”.

Well isn’t that refreshing? OpenAI says Chatgpt will be returning to Italy very soon.