China artificial intelligence
Ying Tang | Nurphoto | Getty Images
Chinese regulators on Thursday finalized first-of-its-kind rules governing generative artificial intelligence as the country looks to ramp up oversight of the rapidly-growing technology.
The powerful Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said it worked with several other regulators to come up with the new regulation that will come into effect on Aug. 15.
Generative AI is a fast-growing area of technology in which artificial intelligence services are able to generate content such as text or images. ChatGPT, developed by U.S. firm OpenAI, is the most well-known example and allows users to prompt the chatbot and receive replies to queries.
These services are trained on vast amounts of data. However, ChatGPT’s success has sparked a wave of rival services to pop up, raising concern among global regulators about the potential risks around the technology.
Chinese technology giants have jumped on the bandwagon, announcing plans and launching their own generative AI services.
But China, which tightly controls the domestic internet via censorship and regulation, is watching AI development closely. Chinese regulators are concerned about the potential for these services to generate content which may go against Beijing’s views or ideology.
That’s partly why Chinese tech firms have been circumspect about launching their ChatGPT-like services. Rather than full services that are widely available to the public, Chinese companies have focused their technology on enterprise and narrow uses.
For example, Alibaba this month launched an artificial intelligence tool that can generate images from prompts called Tongyi Wanxiang, but it is only available for enterprise customers for beta testing.
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