Chinese authorities made their first-ever public arrest related to ChatGPT last week, accusing a citizen of using the AI to manufacture fake reports of a deadly train crash.
Authorities arrested the man, identified as Han Hong Moumou, on Friday. Police say he used ChatGPT to manufacture reports of a train crash that killed nine people in northwestern Chinese province of Gansu, despite no such crash occurring.
Cyber police first began investigating the matter when articles about the supposed crash began appearing online on April 15. They were able to track the posts back to Han’s social media company based in the southern city of Shenzhen.
Han faces charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
The incident comes just weeks after the Cyberspace Administration of China proposed new rules that would force bots like ChatGPT to comply with the country’s existing censorship regime. Chatbot creators will also be required to ensure that their bots respect intellectual property in their creations and do not lie.
Critically, developers will also have to register their AI’s algorithm with the government and prevent their AI from providing any information that undermines “state power” or national unity, according to the Wall Street Journal.
China’s aggressive approach comes as governments across the globe are grappling with how or whether to regulate the emergence of AI systems. The European Union has already proposed an Artificial Intelligence Act to do just that, but U.S. lawmakers have yet to introduce any major legislation.
The U.S. has sought to hamper China’s ability to develop effective AI, however, by banning the sale of AI accelerator chips to Chinese companies. The chips are a key component to developing bots of ChatGPT’s caliber and even higher.