- Chinese regulators said on Thursday they have finalized first-of-its-kind rules governing generative artificial intelligence as it looks to ramp up oversight of the fast-growing technology.
- The powerful China Cyberspace Administration (CAC) said it worked with several other regulators to come up with the new regulation, which will take effect on August 15.
- Generative AI is a rapidly growing area of technology where AI services are able to generate content such as text or images.
Artificial intelligence in China
Ying Tang | Norphoto | 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 fast-growing technology.
The powerful China Cyberspace Administration (CAC) said it worked with several other regulators to come up with the new regulation, which will take effect on August 15.
Generative AI is a rapidly growing area of technology where AI services are able to generate content such as text or images. ChatGPT, developed by the American company OpenAI, is the most well-known example and allows users to prompt a chatbot and receive responses to queries.
These services are trained on huge amounts of data. However, ChatGPT’s success has spawned a wave of competing services, raising concern among global regulators about potential risks around the technology.
Chinese tech giants have jumped on the bandwagon, announcing plans and launching their own generative AI services.
But China, which tightly controls the domestic internet through censorship and regulation, is watching the development of artificial intelligence closely. Chinese regulators are concerned about the potential for these services to generate content that may contradict Beijing’s views or ideology.
This is partly why Chinese tech companies are cautious about launching ChatGPT-like services. Instead of full services that are widely available to the public, Chinese companies have focused their technology on enterprise and narrow uses.
For example, this month Alibaba launched an AI tool that can generate images from prompts called Tongyi Wanxiang, but it’s only available to enterprise customers for beta testing.
However, the rules from the CAC provide tech giants with a framework to work with when it comes to technology.
The rules will only apply to generative AI services that are available to the general public rather than those developed in research institutions, for example.
The CAC said generative AI services would need to be licensed to operate.
If a generative AI service provider finds “illegal” content, it must take measures to stop the generation of this content, improve the algorithm, and then report the material to the relevant authority.
These service providers must perform security assessments on their products and ensure that user information is secure.
The CAC said that generative AI services in China must also adhere to the “core values of socialism.”
However, regulators are trying to balance making China a leader in AI while keeping a close eye on its development.
The CAC rules said the regulation aims to encourage innovative applications of generative AI and support the development of related infrastructure such as semiconductors.