The Italian government’s decision to prohibit ChatGPT, a conversational AI, caused widespread disagreement among tech professionals and the deputy prime minister, who deemed the ban too severe.
On Friday, March 31, following concerns raised by the national data agency about possible privacy violations and failure to verify the age of users, Microsoft-backed OpenAI took ChatGPT offline in Italy.
This marked the initial occasion of a Western country taking action in opposition to the AI chatbot, an event carried out by the independent agency.
Instagram was the platform of choice for Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini to communicate his thoughts. Posting on the popular social media site, Salvini shared his opinions and ideas.
Matteo Salvini says:
“I find the decision of the Privacy Watchdog that forced #ChatGPT to prevent access from Italy disproportionate,”
The Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini criticized the Italian regulator’s decision, calling it “hypocritical” and lacking common sense. He says similar services based on Artificial Intelligence, such as Bing’s chat, exist in dozens, while privacy issues affect all online services.
Salvini expressed that he hopes for a fast resolution to the problem at hand–the ChatGPT ban–and for the chatbot’s access to Italy to be reinstated, as this ban has potentially severe implications on business and innovation assessed from a national perspective.
Matteo Salvini went on to say:
“Every technological revolution brings great changes, risks, and opportunities. It is right to control and regulate through international cooperation between regulators and legislators, but it cannot be blocked,”
Ron Moscona, a partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney and an expert in technology and data privacy, challenged the ban by expressing his surprise. He pointed out that it is rare to impose a complete ban on service due to data breach incidents.
OpenAI declared its cooperation to comply with and adhere to Italian privacy regulations. Due to the orders from public authorities, ChatGPT has been inaccessible for users in Italy.
OpenAI has taken steps to ensure that its AI systems, such as ChatGPT, acquire knowledge about the world rather than collecting personal data when training. To achieve this, measures have been put in place to minimize the use of personal data.
The Center for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Policy (CAIDP) has raised its concerns about ChatGPT, asserting it risks public safety and confidentiality due to being “deceptive” and “biased.” On March 31, CAIDP complained about the deployment of this AI chatbot to the public.
The incident serves as a reminder that AI and data protection are complex issues that require careful consideration and collaboration between regulators, developers, and users. As AI advances and becomes more integrated into our lives, it is important to address these issues proactively to ensure we can reap these technologies’ benefits while minimizing the risks.