The Italian data protection authority was the first authority in the world to ask OpenAI to block the AI bot ChatGPT in Italy until further notice – “until it complies with data protection regulations”. According to the authority, OpenAI and its main product violate the European regulation on the protection of personal data.
The measure stems from a data loss suffered by ChatGPT on March 20th. User conversations and payment information from subscribers to the service had been leaked. However, the problem goes deeper. “Anyone who conducts medical research must obtain consent for experiments. Those experimenting with new technologies must also be transparent about the process," Guido Scorza of the DPA told Wired.
"There is no legal basis justifying the mass collection and storage of personal data for the purpose of 'training' the algorithms on which the platform is based". In addition, there is no functioning age filter that keeps minors under the age of 13 away from the platform.
"Minors are exposed to responses that are grossly inappropriate in terms of their level of development and self-esteem." OpenAI now has 20 days to explain how it intends to get the problem under control. Otherwise there is a risk of a fine of up to 20 million euros.
Earlier this week, various high-ranking tech experts such as Tesla boss Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak called for the rapid expansion of AI technology to be paused for other reasons. This development stop should give the industry time to set safety standards for the development of AI and to avert possible damage from the riskiest AI technologies. If the companies do not agree on this, governments would have to step in and impose a moratorium. The six months should therefore be used, among other things, to develop security protocols.
In the manifesto, they warn of the dangers of so-called generative AI, such as those implemented with the text robot ChatGPT or the image generator DALL-E from OpenAI. These AI tools can simulate human interaction and create text or images based on a few keywords.