China releases rules for generative AI like ChatGPT after Alibaba, Baidu launch services

Chinese technology giants from Baidu to Alibaba have launched their own ChatGPT rivals. These products are examples of so-called generative artificial intelligence (AI). These are AI services that are able to generate images or text after user queries. But AI is also concerning regulators. The powerful Cyberspace Administration of China released draft rules governing how generative AI products should be developed.
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Chinese regulators on Tuesday released draft rules designed to manage how companies develop generative artificial intelligence products like ChatGPT.

The draft rules from the powerful Cyberspace Administration of China are the first of their kind in the country and target fast-developing AI as domestic tech giants begin rolling out ChatGPT-style products.

So-called generative AI refers to algorithms trained with huge amounts of data that are able to generate content such as images and texts. U.S. firm OpenAI developed ChatGPT which is able to generate responses to user queries and has become hugely popular.

Over the last few weeks, Chinese technology giants have been unveiling their rival products. On Tuesday, Alibaba unveiled Tongyi Qianwen, its generative AI product, that the e-commerce giant plans to integrate across various services. Baidu last month also launched its equivalent, Ernie Bot, for testing.

The CAC’s draft measures lay out the ground rules that generative AI services have to follow, including the type of content these products are allowed to generate. The content needs to reflect the core values of socialism and should not subvert state power, according to the draft rules.

Companies should ensure the data being used to train these AI models will not discriminate against people based on things like ethnicity, race and gender, the CAC said. They also should not generate false information, the regulator added.

Analysts previously told CNBC that Chinese regulators are likely closely watching the development of generative AI given its potential to generate content that could be politically sensitive.

The CAC’s rules highlight that concern and lay out a framework for how Chinese firms will need to approach the development of the technology. But the measures, which are slated to come into effect later this year, will work in tandem with China’s various other regulations around data protection and algorithm development.

China is not the only country concerned with the development of generative AI, however. In March, Italy banned ChatGPT citing privacy concerns.

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