ChatGPT restricted access in China due to regulatory concerns over online content

Artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT has been blocked in China over fears that its American owners will use the tool to spread propaganda. This chatbot comes from OpenAI, a company founded in 2015 by Elon Musk, Sam Altman and others. It has only been publicly available since November. Artificial intelligence is capable of creating high-quality essays with little to no human intervention. In addition, it generates text based on a prompt or query. The chatbot, designed to help users make friends on social media, has been ordered by major Chinese tech companies not to be made available to the public. Daily Mail reports that ChatGPT is banned because it generates replies that the Chinese Communist Party would otherwise censor. In the Asian country, ChatGPT joins Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, YouTube, Wikipedia, and some Google services that are also blocked.

However, virtual private networks and widgets released by third-party developers are reportedly used by ChatGPT users. The Chinese government controls the online environment, news and social media platforms, making it one of the most restrictive countries in the world when it comes to internet and media. Chinese executives from a leading technology company said: Our understanding is that ChatGPT cannot enter China due to censorship issues, so China needs to provide its own version of ChatGPT. In January, The PUNCH reported that the AI ​​tool had raised concerns about its impact on education, given its ability to produce high-quality essays without human intervention. Numerous colleges around the world viewed the specialty as permitting study to cheat.

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The artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT has been blocked in China over fears that American users will use the tool to spread propaganda

Fearing that OpenAI would use AI to spread propaganda, China blocked ChatGPT. Big tech companies, particularly those in the social media app business, have been told not to offer the chatbot to the public. According to Nikki Asia, ChatGPT is banned because it creates replies that would otherwise be censored. Users have discovered a workaround using VPNs and “mini-programs” published by third-party developers on Tencent’s WeChat social media app that claim to offer ChatGPT services. It is feared that ChatGPT generates answers that would normally be censored in China, so the country has blocked it for its big tech industry. Chinese regulators have reportedly asked tech giants Tencent and Ant Group (a subsidiary of e-commerce giant Alibaba) to limit ChatGPT access and report to them before releasing their own chatbots. Due to its tight control over the news, online environment and social media platforms, China is one of the most restricted internet and media countries in the world. In addition, ChatGPT has been banned nationwide, as well as Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, YouTube, Wikipedia and some Google services. According to US officials, TikTok should also be banned due to similar concerns about ChatGPT.

On Weibo, China Daily reported that ChatGPT could be used by the US government to spread disinformation and manipulate global narratives for geopolitical purposes. Though people around the world may be surprised by the move, China’s tech industry anticipated it. The Nikkei reported that an executive at a leading tech company understood from the start that ChatGPT would never come to China due to censorship issues. Even before the ban, an executive at another major Chinese tech company announced that the company had no plans to use ChatGPT. Chinese regulators have already targeted us [amid a crackdown on the tech industry in recent years], even if there is no such ban, we will not add ChatGPT to our platform because its reactions are out of control. Tencent social media app WeChat now offers users dozens of widgets pretending to offer services from ChatGPT, thanks to a VPN and third-party developers. The platform will be held accountable for any outcomes resulting from users asking the chatbot politically sensitive questions. CNBC reported earlier this month that Chinese companies including Alibaba and NetEase were launching clones of ChatGPT. As part of its cloud computing products, Alibaba announced it is developing an AI-powered chatbot.

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