Rome: An Italian senator surprised his colleagues by reading a speech in Parliament penned by A Chat botsaying afterwards that he withdrew the assignment to spark a “serious discussion” about the risks and opportunities posed by artificial intelligence.
“How many of us today are able to distinguish between a text generated by human intelligence and a torrent of ideas…generated by an AI algorithm?” centrist senator Marco Lombardo colleagues asked.
The senator told Reuters on Thursday that his speech, on the subject of various bilateral deals with Switzerland, was produced by Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s GPT-4 OpenAI chatbot.
He said his staff “took a few hours” to enter the necessary information into the software, which then produced the speech “on the spot”.
The leader of Lombardo’s Azioni party, Carlo Calenda, said on Twitter that what the senator said on the floor was “flawless,” but added, “It’s not yet clear to me whether we’re looking forward or going backwards.”
Lombardo said he was impressed by recent developments in artificial intelligence, but called for a better understanding of the technology in order to strike the right balance between regulation and innovation.
Italy has taken center stage in recent months in global regulation efforts over AI, with the country’s data protection authority temporarily blocking ChatGPT and launching an investigation over the app’s suspected breach of privacy rules.
On Wednesday, the EU’s chief technology officer, Margrethe Vestager, said she believed a draft voluntary code of conduct for generative AI could be drawn up “within the coming weeks”, with a final proposal for industry registration “very soon”. (Reporting by Federico Macchione; Editing by Alvise Armellini and David Holmes)


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