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China imposes socialist core values in new AI regulations

July 14, 2023
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China has published new rules limiting public use of generative AI services, while promoting their industrial development. The guidelines, which come into effect on August 15, only apply to organizations providing these services to the public. Among other requirements, these AI services must conform to core socialist values and not seek to undermine state power.

New Guidelines on Generative AI: The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has released new regulations that limit public use of generative AI services, while fostering their industrial use.
  • The guidelines, which become effective on August 15, only affect organizations providing these services to the public.
  • Entities developing the same technology but not for mass-market use are not subject to the regulations.

  • Socialist Values and State Power: The regulations require generative AI services to adhere to socialist core values and not seek to overthrow state power or the socialist system.
  • The new rules have dropped potential fines of up to 100,000 yuan (about $13,999) for violations, which were included in the April proposal.

  • AI Development and Challenges in China: China is striving to boost its generative AI offerings, aiming to become the leading provider and unseat the US's current dominance.
  • The Chinese government has restricted its tech giants from accessing ChatGPT, fearing it could provide "uncensored replies."
  • The government has also acted against citizens using ChatGPT, including arresting a man who supposedly used the chatbot to produce fake articles.

  • Chinese Tech Giants and AI: Alibaba and Baidu, Chinese tech giants, are now developing their own generative AI tools.
  • Baidu provided a first glimpse of its chatbot, Ernie, earlier this year, but it failed to impress investors.

  • Intellectual Property and Competition: China's generative AI rules also highlight the importance of the intellectual property rights of training data and prohibit the use of unfair competition.
  • Training data must originate from sources the government considers legitimate.
  • Service providers must comply with requests from individuals to review or correct information gathered for AI models.

  • International Context: China is not the only country grappling with the balance between innovation in generative AI and public safety.
  • The EU is still considering its AI Act, and the Biden administration has outlined a plan to support AI development.
  • The US Federal Trade Commission is investigating ChatGPT creator OpenAI for potential harm to consumers.
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