An Italian senator spoke before members of the Italian parliament with — unbeknownst to parliament members — a speech entirely composed by artificial intelligence (AI).
In the parliamentary meeting on May 31, Italian Senator Marco Lombardo pulled the stunt to spark a “serious debate” among his colleagues about what’s at stake and in-store from AI usage, according to a local news report.
L’intelligenza artificiale può migliorare la nostra vita quotidiana, ma come possiamo garantire che non crei nuove disuguaglianze e divisioni nella società?
— Azione (@Azione_it) May 31, 2023
Lombardo’s speech was reportedly created via OpenAI’s GPT-4 chatbot. In the same interview with local media, he revealed that he trained the chatbot with the draft law of the Italian-Swiss agreement on cross-border workers, which was the topic of the meeting, along with other recent developments on the subject.
“It seemed important to me that the Italian parliament also open its eyes to a phenomenon that is now unavoidable.“
Carlo Calenda, the leader of the Italian political party Azione, of which Lombardo is a member, tweeted that the speech was “flawless.” However, he didn’t know whether to call this development “progress” or “taking a step back.”
Ho letto il testo. Impeccabile. Non mi è ancora chiaro se siamo davanti ad un progresso o ad un regresso. È una cosa su cui riflettere molto anche alla luce dell’appello di ieri degli scienziati americani. Bravo @mlombardo81 a sollevare in modo così concreto la questione. https://t.co/Toasran5Hs
— Carlo Calenda (@CarloCalenda) May 31, 2023
Lombardo told local reporters that he wanted to show politicians AI could also ” threaten” their jobs.
“Not even politics can think of exempting itself from a comparison with algorithms. You need to know how to use it consciously.”
On May 18, Italian officials set aside $33 million to enhance the development of digital skills for workers at risk of termination due to automation and AI in various professional sectors.
Back in March, Italy banned the use of ChatGPT in the country after the application suffered a data breach. After demanding more transparency from OpenAI, the application was able to reenter the country once again about a month later, on April 29.
However, Italy’s ban prompted other global governments to pay closer attention to the technology and consider regulations. Some governments, such as Romania, have already begun implementing AI for policy recommendations.
Currently, regulators in the European Union are working through drafts of the forthcoming EU Artificial Intelligence Act, which is set to take effect in the following two to three years to regulate the public use of generative AI tools.
Most recently, the EU’s tech chief said regulators should push out a voluntary code of conduct for AI companies and not waste any time before laws come into place.