Ireland data regulator: We should not blindly ban AI-powered chatbots

Although there is no doubt that AI applications have seen lots of public-facing advancements in the past few months following the integration of large language models like GPT, they have also seen some roadblocks set up by those wary of the potential negative effects of the technology. Germany and Italy are considering banning the use of ChatGPT in their respective countries, an Australian mayor is pondering a defamation lawsuit, and many influential personalities have petitioned AI labs to pause training on next-gen models.

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Despite some very clear opposing stances put forward by the entities mentioned above, Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) Helen Dixon is actually against banning GPT and similar technologies right away. The data regulator has emphasized that:

It needs to be regulated and it's about figuring out how to regulate it properly. For the Irish data protection commission, where we are at is trying to understand a little bit more about the technology, about the large language models, about where the training data is sourced.

So I think it's early days, but it's time to be having those conversations now rather than rushing into prohibitions that really aren't going to stand up.

Despite not being in favor of banning generative AI technologies and applications altogether, Dixon still believes that several concerns in this domain need to be addressed. This includes data privacy, copyright, and defamation (especially if the AI starts hallucinating).

Overall, Ireland's approach does show more maturity a measured response when it comes to this domain. However, it remains to be seen how the country's regulator will carry out these assessments related to the benefits and risks of generative AI.

Source: Reuters | Image via Sanket Mishra

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