It looks like generative AI is finally going to get reined in a bit, at least in China, as the country is reportedly making plans to more effectively regulate the burgeoning technology.
Generative AI platforms like ChatGPT and Google Bard have been on the rise lately, with businesses around the world taking advantage of the productivity-increasing systems.
However, many concerns about AI have been raised, and meaningful regulations have been slow to materialize. That may change in China, though.
China May Require License for AI Development
According to a report from the Financial Times, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) — the primary regulatory organization in the country — is considering imposing stricter regulations around the use and development of generative AI platforms.
More specifically, these new rules would require businesses to acquire a license before releasing an AI model to the public. The primary goal of these measures is content control, as the country is well-known for its censorship of the internet to better control its people.
The new licensing regulations could be finalized “as early as next month,” according to the report.
Tech Ambition vs Content Control
As the Financial Times pointed out, the generative AI discussion is particularly difficult for Chinese officials. The country is currently in a mad dash for tech supremacy, competing with the west for AI dominance, battling the likes of Microsoft and Google to become the go-to AI solution for businesses around the world.
However, the country is fervently committed to controlling all the information available to its citizens, and the report noted that China wants to ensure that the information available will “embody core socialist values,” and should not “subvert state power, advocate the overthrow of the socialist system, incite splitting the country or undermine national unity.”
As a result, these regulations aren't as clear cut as they usually are in China. After all, regulations in other parts of the world have had a negative impact, with ChatGPT nearly threatening to leave Europe due to potential EU regulations.
Regulating Generative AI Platforms
There are a lot of benefits to generative AI platforms like ChatGPT. Businesses have reported improvements in revenue and productivity due to the use of these systems, and employees are even using them to make work easier (sometimes without their bosses knowing).
Still, there are plenty of potential downsides that could lead to global problems down the line. The systems are primed to spread misinformation, prone to plagiarism, and companies and countries alike have even banned the tech outright from employee use.
All that to say, a little regulation is probably a good thing in the long run, but it's safe to assume that China is doing it for all the wrong reasons. After all, if your primary concern is what information your citizens can get access to and not whether the technology will ruin the economy by impacting 80% of all jobs, your heart probably isn't in the right place.