ChatGPT back in Italy after meeting watch demands

The maker of ChatGPT said on Friday that the artificial intelligence chatbot is available again in Italy after the company met the demands of regulators who temporarily blocked it due to privacy concerns.

OpenAI said it met several conditions that Italy’s data protection authority wanted to satisfy by an April 30 deadline to lift the ban on the AI ​​software.

“ChatGPT is available again for our users in Italy,” San Francisco-based OpenAI said via email. “We are excited to welcome them back, and remain committed to protecting their privacy.”

AI generation systems like ChatGPT, which use huge pools of online data like digital books, blog posts and other media to generate text, images and other content that mimics human work, have created a buzz in the tech world and beyond.

But their rapid development has fueled concerns among officials and even technology leaders about potential ethical and societal risks, as European Union negotiators have scrambled to update draft artificial intelligence regulations in recent years.

Last month, the Italian watchdog, known as Garante, ordered OpenAI to temporarily stop processing the personal information of Italian users while it investigated a possible data breach. The authority said it did not want to hinder the development of AI but stressed the importance of following strict EU data privacy rules.

OpenAI said it had “addressed or clarified the issues” raised by the watchdog.

The measures include putting information on its website about how it collects and uses data that trains the algorithms that power ChatGPT, providing EU users with a new form to object to the use of their data for training, and adding a tool to verify users’ ages when signing up. up.

Some Italian users shared what appeared to be screenshots of the changes, which included a menu button asking users to confirm their age and links to the privacy policy help page and updated training details.

The Garante said in a statement that it “welcomes the measures implemented by OpenAI” and urged the company to comply with two other demands for an age verification system and a publicity campaign informing Italians of the back story and their right to withdraw from data processing.

The watchdog imposed the ban last month after discovering that some users’ messages and payment information had been exposed to others. He also questioned whether OpenAI had a legal basis for collecting huge amounts of data used to train ChatGPT’s algorithms and raised concerns that the system could sometimes generate false information about individuals.

The Minister of Infrastructure Matteo Salvini wrote on Instagram, allowing ChatGPT to be back and said that his League party is “committed to helping start-ups and development in Italy.”

Other regulators are now taking a closer look at such AI systems, with France’s data privacy regulator and Canada’s privacy commissioner investigating after receiving complaints about ChatGPT.

The head of the Federal Trade Commission, Lina Khan, warned this week that the US government will not hesitate to crack down on harmful business practices related to artificial intelligence.

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