AI Companies Affected by ChatGPT’s Issues in Italy


AI is becoming increasingly popular and many tech giants are in the process of developing their own versions of chatbots. This has caught the attention of governments, who have started to consider regulating AI technology to curb its unchecked growth. Italy was the first country to take action and temporarily banned ChatGPT, a chatbot developed by OpenAI, a Microsoft-backed AI company. Now, Italy’s data protection authority Garante is reportedly planning to investigate other AI platforms as well.

Garante is one of the 31 data protection bodies in Europe, responsible for the enforcement of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It has imposed fines on facial recognition software makers and restricted TikTok activities in Europe. The regulatory board also banned Replika, another AI chatbot firm, and launched a probe on ChatGPT.

Agostino Ghiglia, a Garante board member, said that Italy is looking to hire AI experts to help with their understanding of the powerful technology and to ramp up probes of it if needed. He further added that Garante will review generative and machine learning AI applications that are available online and start new probes if needed. This indicates how governments and regulators are adapting existing laws and regulations to the changing technology in order to control it.

OpenAI made some changes to its ChatGPT chatbot to comply with Garante’s regulations for data protection and privacy law compliance. Garante also used GDPR provisions to protect minors and grant individuals the right to ask for their data to be deleted or objected to. Google-parent Alphabet and Facebook-owner Meta are also looking to develop their own AI chatbot models, prompted by the success of ChatGPT.

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Overall, Garante’s crackdown on ChatGPT shows how governments and regulatory bodies are vigilant when it comes to scrutinizing the use of AI, which has the potential to disrupt many industries and societies. According to Ghiglia, the board’s plan is to ensure that AI tools abide by pertinent data protection and privacy rules. With the three AI advisers Garante plans to hire, the country will be better equipped to handle the growing AI field and evaluate generative AI tools to see if they comply with the existing laws.

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