Since OpenAI released ChatGPT at the end of 2022, the AI language model quickly took over the internet by storm. Every single nook and cranny of the web has been infiltrated by Artificial Intelligence of some kind, and too often in a bad way. Italy, along with a few other countries, banned ChatGPT for this very reason.
The ban on this technology indicates that government agencies are aware of its potentially harmful effects, which should concern both individuals and humanity as a whole. It highlights the difficulty of controlling this technology and to me shows that only a few policymakers truly understand its implications.
This ban, however, shows that if nothing else: Italy actually understands the danger. Italy proves to the world that our concerns regarding the development of Artificial Intelligence aren’t unfounded, it’s not crazy — it is real, and it has to be dealt with.
In this article, I will discuss what ChatGPT really is, why Italy banned it, and what this looks like for our future.
ChatGPT: A Technological Monstrosity
The OpenAI language model ChatGPT has, in my opinion, been a menace to online communications in its short lifespan. It is a complicated and sophisticated tool that masquerades and mimics human conversation and knowledge, and as a result, is directly affecting people’s social-emotional and mental health.
Its answers always come off as coherent and contextually relevant, and as a result, can easily fool the uneducated user. This AI power monstrosity has become the darling of most tech enthusiasts, but the dangers absolutely cannot be overlooked.
ChatGPT serves as a breeding ground for misinformation, with algorithms that honestly just cannot distinguish false narratives and misleading content from true facts.
Most importantly, however, ChatGPT lacks all sense of ethical boundaries, emotional intelligence, and empathy. It has been known to generate hate speech, offensive remarks, and even harmful ideologies. ChatGPT’s algorithm is a reflection of the biases that are present in the data it was trained on, commonly known as “white male data“, which continuously perpetuates stereotypes and discrimination.
And what is worse, the developers of the language model doesn’t really understand how it comes to a lot of its conclusion and answers. Seriously, I urge you to read about it here.
In a sense, we have already lost control. It has jumped out of our grasp and is currently running wild, like a horse in a hospital (shoutout John Mulaney, or is he canceled now?).
Because ChatGPT is such a fun tool to “play” with, a lot of people are numb with apathy when it comes to the negative impacts that the model has. Developers, although asked by over 30’000 experts to stop their development (including Elon Musk), are blinded by their ambition. They come off with lots of big talk about transparency, while simultaneously denying transparency for users.
ChatGPT exemplifies the disregard for user safety and the potential harm it can inflict on vulnerable individuals, yet this is only part of the reason why the Italian government decided to bring down the hammer and ban the language model altogether.
Italy’s Ban On ChatGPT (and all the reasons why)
Back in late March, Italy became the first Western nation to ban the language model. It was banned for over a month, citing a long list of issues that have yet to be resolved. Mainly, its inherent and extremely worrisome privacy concerns.
ChatGPT, and AI in general, pose serious data and security risks. I urge you to read more about it in our article: “The Modern Day Plague – 5 Ways AI Is Invading Your Privacy Right Now“. This form of consistent security breaches actually matters to the Italian government, seemingly unlike the policymakers of the rest of the world.
Other issues cited were the issue of age and unsuitable answers as a result. Because there is no way to verify the age of consumers using AI, there are a lot of cases in which individuals under the age of 18 get answers that are not suited for them.
Of course, the biggest issue that the Italian government has with ChatGPT is the complete lack of regulation worldwide. This isn’t an uncommon or new concern; most governments have voiced some form of unease when it comes to the lack of transparency and open use of AI. However, next to nothing is truly being done about it.
You might have heard that OpenAI is “having conversations” with politicians, yet nothing seems to be happening. And quite frankly, I don’t see anything happening any time soon. There is simply too much money to be made for the rich, and they do not give up money easily — regardless of its negative impacts on the world.
ChatGPT Is Spelling the End of Humanity
And no, I am not being dramatic.
Maybe just a little.
It is time that we the people think more like the Italian government. We have to be skeptics, active learners, and critical thinkers when it comes to technology that spreads faster than the plague. When we see massive negative implications so large that entire websites exist to talk about it, we need to open our eyes and analyze these issues closer.
How do we navigate a future where something that was immediately banned in a Western country is widespread literally everywhere? How do we protect our children, our future, and our societies?
AI is taking over. There’s no hiding it, and there is no stopping it.
However, by being knowledgeable and continuously seek for truth and answers – we can ensure that the negative impacts are as low as possible.
We need to be worried over the fact that even though countries like Italy banned it, although thousands of experts including one of the literal founders of OpenAI are asking to halt development — NOTHING is being done.
As a society, we are allowing ourselves to be completely subjugated to AI. Driven by greed and a continuous lust for the path of least resistance, we are taking a technology that could potentially end the entire human race for granted as an office tool.
It is so much more than that.
Italy’s ban on ChatGPT shows that it is straight-up dangerous.
Say No to AI.