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    OpenAI blocks API services in China: Report

    OpenAI has taken additional measures to block Chinese companies from using ChatGPT to make AI products, according to the Chinese newspaper Securities Times, Reuters reported. While ChatGPT is not available in China, businesses could avail of OpenAI’s API (Application Programming Interface) services. However, Chinese users of OpenAI have recently received emails stating that additional measures will be taken to block API traffic from “unsupported regions.”

    “We are taking additional steps to block API traffic from regions where we do not support access to OpenAI’s services,” an OpenAI spokesperson said in a statement to Reuters. However, the US-based company did not give a reason as to why the services would be blocked.

    To fill the void, Chinese AI companies like Baidu, Alibaba Cloud, and Zhipu AI have since begun offering migration discounts for OpenAI’s customers.

    OpenAI Report revealed Chinese threat actors

    In February this year, an OpenAI report claimed that 2 Chinese threat actors called ‘Charcoal Typhoon’ and ‘Salmon Typhoon’ used their services to carry out malicious cyber activities such as  “research various companies and cybersecurity tools, debug code and generate scripts” and “retrieve publicly available information on multiple intelligence agencies and regional threat actors, assist with coding, and research common ways processes could be hidden on a system.”Additionally, in May, OpenAI claimed to have disrupted a Chinese network known as Spamouflage that was carrying out a covert influence operation aimed to manipulate public opinion and influence political outcomes. 

    China’s rules for AI

    In 2023, China adopted “Interim Measures for the Administration of Generative Artificial Intelligence Services,” which may require close collaboration between the Government and AI companies. The rules state, “content generated by generative AI had to be in line with the country’s core socialist values.” Companies will be responsible for the “legitimacy of data” used to train their generative AI products and may also have to submit security assessments to the government first before publicly launching their services.

    Additionally, platforms may be responsible for “inappropriate content” generated by their platforms and must update their technology within three months so that similar content is prevented from being re-generated. Users of these platforms will also be required to submit their “real identities” and other information to service providers.

    US’s actions against blocking Chinese AI

    The US Government has been vocal about its concerns about Chinese entities having access to AI created by the US. In May, the US government proposed a bipartisan bill calling for imposing export control on US AI systems to prevent access to “foreign adversaries.” While it did not name China, in April 2024, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security established an AI Security Board and noted that nation-states like China  are developing “other AI technologies that could undermine U.S. cyber defences, including generative AI programs that support malicious activity such as malware attacks.”

    Similarly, the President’s Executive Order on Preventing Access to Americans’ Bulk Sensitive Personal Data stated that the US had strongly reflected on the potential negative use cases of AI in matters of national security. It said that,

    “Countries of concern can rely on advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), to analyze and manipulate bulk sensitive personal data to engage in espionage, influence, kinetic, or cyber operations or to identify other potential strategic advantages over the United States. “

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    The post OpenAI blocks API services in China: Report appeared first on MEDIANAMA.

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