A suspect identified only as “Hong” was detained by local authorities and arrested in China’s Gansu district after allegedly using ChatGPT to create fake news.
According to a report by the South China Morning Post, Hong was detained after police on April 18 revealed an investigation into an unsubstantiated article about a train crash.
Hong’s arrest for “using artificial intelligence technology to fabricate false and untrue information” came after cybersecurity specialists discovered that at least 20 accounts simultaneously posted a fake news article on the popular blogging site, which is run by Chinese technology conglomerate Baidu.
China’s laws regarding the use of social media are considered some of the strictest in the world. Police said Hong was arrested for running afoul of the ordinance against “inciting arguments and stirring up trouble,” a universal law that specifically applies to the spread of fake news and rumors on the Internet.
If charged, Hong faces up to five years in prison under normal law. However, if the courts consider the offense to be serious, they could be sentenced to up to 10 years under the law’s expanded provisions for crimes considered particularly serious.
While ChatGPT is currently banned in China, its use can be obscured by virtual private networks (VPNs).
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Similar domestic artificial intelligence (AI) services such as Alibaba’s ‘Tongyi Qianwen’, a recently announced generative AI model trained to answer questions in both English and Mandarin, have received the Chinese government’s blessing. However, as Cointelegraph reported in mid-April, remains unclear whether Tongyi Qianwen will have the same creative ability as ChatGPT.
China’s lack of robust generative AI models could potentially have a chilling effect on the nation’s tech scene, especially in sectors such as fintech and cryptocurrency trading, where ChatGPT and products built on OpenAI’s GPT API have use. exploded into popularity.