China’s new AI regulations begin to take effect

China’s provisional guidelines for artificial intelligence (AI) activity and management in the country are scheduled to come into effect on Aug. 15. 

The regulations, which were published on July 10, are referred to as the “Generative AI Measures” and are the result of a joint effort between six government agencies including the Cybersecurity Administration of China (CAC), the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Science and Technology.

These will be the first set of AI rules to be implemented in the country in the wake of the recent boom in AI development and will be overseen by the same agencies that created the measures.

The 24 guidelines include measures that will require platforms that provide AI services to register them and undergo a security review prior to public release. The Chinese government will also be mandating labels for artificially created content.

Earlier in the year, China banned any AI-generated images of its president Xi Jinping.

Additionally, the measures require that all data and foundation models should be sourced from “legitimate sources” that respect the intellectual property rights of the creators, have appropriate consent and don’t undermine user privacy.

Similarly, the guidelines will hold service providers accountable for anything created through their platform.

Related: China to tighten control on exports of AI chip-making materials

The draft version of the regulations, which was released back in April included specific monetary fines for anyone deviating from the guideline, though it has since been removed. Instead, the service providers will need to address problematic content within a three-month period.

The regulations aim to create a middle ground between state control of the technology and a welcoming environment for innovation in the sector. China has been actively developing its AI scene, with local tech giants like Alibaba creating a rival to the popular chatbot ChatGPT. 

It has also been in a silent standoff with the United States in terms of developing high-performing AI systems and the chips that power them.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has only begun to mull over regulating AI, with no concrete guidelines set to come into effect in the near future. 

On June 14, the European Union parliament passed its AI Act bill, which is a sweeping legislative framework for member states regarding AI regulation. Prior to it becoming law, members of the EU will be able to negotiate final details.

Since the bill passed major tech companies have called on officials in the EU to relax rules around open-source AI models.

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