China Issues Rules on Generative AI, But Only For Products Used by its Citizens

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China has announced new rules on generative artificial intelligence (AI), mandating that the technology must follow “core values of socialism.”

According to Reuters, China’s Cyberspace Administration has softened its tone from an earlier draft with authorities signaling they want to be supportive of the technology.

The guidelines are only for companies who make AI products for the public, others who are developing machine learning technology need not be concerned.

In the new rules, China says that generative AI programs must “adhere to core values of socialism” and can not be used to attempt to overthrow state power of the socialist system.

With many Chinese tech giants, like Alibaba, Baidu, and in the process of creating their own AI products — China’s authorities want to set the rules. But it is also conscious that technology companies are needed to help grow the economy which is still suffering from the slowdown effects of Covid-19.

The rules will only apply to services that are available to the general public in China. Technology that is being for use by overseas users is exempt.

The state “encourages the innovative use of generative AI in all industries and fields” and supports the development of “secure and trustworthy” chips, software, tools, computing power, and data sources, according to the rules document.

China also wants its tech companies to participate in the “formulation of international rules and standards” in relation to generative AI.

However, the state will force its AI companies to register their algorithms with the government as well as conducting security reviews to ensure their products do not “mobilize” the public.

China sees AI as an area in which it wants to rival the United States, and on which it has set its sights on becoming a world leader by 2030.

It is seen to be ahead of the regulatory curve as countries globally grapple with setting guardrails for the technology popularized by the success of OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot.

It has also told service providers to ensure intellectual property rights are respected, urging AI companies to use legitimate data sources.

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.

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