China Announces New Regulations for Generative AI, Mirroring Elon Musk’s Concerns

China has announced new regulations for generative AI, which underpins the OpenAI ChatGPT and Google Bard chatbots. The country shares the fears of Elon Musk about the uncontrolled development of technology, which can lead to unpredictable consequences and harm humanity.

China announces new rules for generative AI

On Thursday, China announced new rules for generative AI. This is the technology behind the OpenAI ChatGPT and Google Bard chatbots. The rules will apply to all public chatbots and will be overseen by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the country’s top internet regulator, according to Fortune. The exception to the rule is generative AI research and technologies developed for use in other countries.

Chinese AI products are under development

Chinese companies developing AI generative chatbots and image generators are still either in development or being tested by B2B clients. For example, Baidu, the Chinese search engine giant, released its Ernie chatbot to just 650 enterprise cloud customers in March. Companies likely waited for the announcement of government rules before releasing products to the market.

What the rules require

Under the new rules, developers will have to register their algorithms with the Chinese government. They will be required to pass a security assessment if their services are deemed to have social mobilization capabilities—that is, the ability to influence public opinion. The list of prohibitions includes the propaganda of terrorism and distribution of obscene pornography, undermining state power, damaging the image of the country, undermining national unity, and others.

Rules approved by seven agencies

A set of rules, which may still be subject to change, has been developed by the CAC. However, it has been approved by seven other agencies, including the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Public Security, and the State General Administration of Radio and Television. The involvement of such a wide range of government bodies lends some credibility to the idea that the government hopes AI will be used in almost every industry in the country.

Elon Musk discussed AI regulation with the Chinese government

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has been calling for AI regulation for several years now. He is extremely concerned about the risks posed by the uncontrolled development of this technology. During his recent visit to China, he met with government officials and discussed the matter. During a Spaces on Wednesday, he said China would be open to a joint international AI regulatory framework.

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