Regulation | Aug 4
China is set to become one of the first major market economies to regulate generative artificial intelligence (AI). The new set of rules will be enforced starting August 15, 2023, and will be overseen by the country’s top internet watchdog, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), along with six other national agencies.
Western firms wanting to operate within China’s borders will need to comply with these interim guidelines.
The regulations emphasize that content generated by generative AI must align with China’s core socialist values.
This includes restrictions on content that might subvert state power, endanger national security, damage the country’s image, incite division, or promote terrorism, extremism, and false information.
The rules apply to content accessible by or provided to the domestic public, but not to research and development or applications of generative AI technology by industry organizations, enterprises, and institutions that do not provide services to the domestic public.
While China leads in AI-driven surveillance and facial recognition technology, it has lagged in developing cutting-edge generative AI systems due to censorship rules limiting data for training models.
The latest statement from the CAC seems to walk back some of the more stringent information control elements seen in an earlier version of the proposed rules.
This reframing appears to be aimed at better supporting the domestic development of the AI industry, with a focus on industrial and enterprise use, as seen with companies like Baidu, Alibaba, and JD.com.
These regulations mark a significant step in China’s approach to controlling and guiding the development and application of AI technologies within its borders. The balance between maintaining state control and fostering innovation will be a key aspect to watch as these regulations are implemented.