Which countries are trying to regulate artificial intelligence?

A response by ChatGPT, an AI chatbot developed by OpenAI, is seen on its website.
A response by ChatGPT, an AI chatbot developed by OpenAI, is seen on its website.   -  Copyright  Florence Lo/Reuters
By Reuters

The rapid development of artificial intelligence has provoked calls for urgent regulation. This is what some countries are doing or plan to do.

Rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI), such as OpenAI's popular, Microsoft-backed chatbot ChatGPT, are complicating governments' efforts to agree on laws governing the use of the technology.

Here are the latest steps national and international governing bodies are taking to regulate AI tools.


* Seeking input on regulations

The Australian government requested advice on how to respond to AI from the country's main science advisory body and is considering its next steps, a spokesperson for the industry and science minister said in April.


* Planning regulations

China's cyberspace regulator in April unveiled draft measures to manage generative AI services, saying it wanted firms to submit security assessments to authorities before they launch offerings to the public.

Beijing said it will support leading enterprises in building AI models that can challenge ChatGPT, its economy and information technology bureau said in February.

European Union

* Planning regulations

The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) has joined the chorus of concern about ChatGPT and other AI chatbots, calling on EU consumer protection agencies to investigate the technology and the potential harm to individuals.

Twelve EU lawmakers urged world leaders in April to hold a summit to find ways to control the development of advanced AI systems, saying they were developing faster than expected.

The European Data Protection Board, which unites Europe's national privacy watchdogs, said in April it had set up a task force on ChatGPT, a potentially important first step towards a common policy on setting privacy rules on AI.

EU lawmakers are also discussing the introduction of the European Union AI Act that will govern anyone who provides a product or a service that uses AI. Lawmakers have proposed classifying different AI tools according to their perceived level of risk, from low to unacceptable.


* Investigating possible breaches

France's privacy watchdog CNIL said in April it was investigating several complaints about ChatGPT after the chatbox was temporarily banned in Italy over a suspected breach of privacy rules.

France's National Assembly approved in March the use of AI video surveillance during the 2024 Paris Olympics, overlooking warnings from civil rights groups that the technology posed a threat to civil liberties.


* Seeking input on regulations

Generative AI, such as ChatGPT, needs to be regulated, but governing bodies must figure out how to do so properly before rushing into prohibitions that "really aren't going to stand up," Ireland's data protection chief said on April 20.


* Lifted ban

ChatGPT is available again to users in Italy, a spokesperson for OpenAI said on April 28.

Italy temporarily banned ChatGPT in March after its data protection authority raised concerns over possible privacy violations and for failing to verify that users were aged 13 or above, as it had requested.


* Seeking input on regulations

Digital transformation minister Taro Kono said in April he wanted a G7 digital ministers' meeting set for April 29-30 to discuss AI technologies including ChatGPT and issue a unified G7 message.


* Investigating possible breaches

Spain's data protection agency said in April it was launching a preliminary investigation into potential data breaches by ChatGPT. It has also asked the EU's privacy watchdog to evaluate privacy concerns surrounding ChatGPT, the agency told Reuters on April 11.


* Planning regulations

Britain said in March that it planned to split responsibility for governing AI between its regulators for human rights, health and safety, and competition, rather than creating a new body.


* Seeking input on regulations

The Biden administration said in April it was seeking public comments on potential accountability measures for AI systems. 

President Joe Biden had earlier told science and technology advisers that AI could help address disease and climate change, but it was also important to address potential risks to society, national security, and the economy.

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