AI Leads To Arrest: Chinese man arrested for using ChatGPT to create fake news about a train crash

AI Leads To Arrest: Chinese man arrested for using ChatGPT to create fake news about a train crash

AI Leads To Arrest: Chinese man arrested for using ChatGPT to create fake news about a train crash

In the first incident of its kind, a man has been arrested for using AI bots and AI tools nefariously. A man in China has been taken arrested for fabricating a story about a train collision using ChatGPT and disseminating it online across social media. 

This marks the first arrest of its kind in China and possibly the entire world, for misuse of ChatGPT. The police in Gansu province reported that the suspect, identified only by the surname Hong, was detained for generating false content using AI. 

The fake news piece, which alleged that nine individuals had perished in a train disaster, was brought to the attention of cyber security officers in Kongtong County after it was circulated by over 20 Baijiahao accounts. By the time authorities became aware of the situation, the article had garnered more than 15,000 clicks. 

After conducting a search of Hong’s residence and computer, law enforcement discovered that the article had originated from a company owned by him. He was subsequently arrested and admitted to circumventing Baijiahao’s duplication check feature and uploading the fabricated article on numerous accounts. Hong utilized ChatGPT to create multiple variations of the false story by incorporating elements from popular social media stories from previous years.

Under normal circumstances, ChatGPT is not available to Chinese IP addresses. However, Chinese users can still access its features with a VPN connection. Chinese tech companies like Baidu and Alibaba are working on their own versions of ChatGPT for the public, following Microsoft and Google’s revealed their own AI bots.

China’s stringent social media censorship, enforced by firewalls, aims to prevent any dissident content that may criticize the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC). China’s leading internet regulator has expressed concern that unrestricted use of deep synthesis technology could lead to its exploitation for criminal activities, such as online scams or defamation. 

As ChatGPT has gained popularity, Chinese law enforcement agencies have become increasingly wary and have issued warnings about the technology. In February, Beijing’s police cautioned the public to be wary of rumours generated by ChatGPT.

Hong, the suspect, has been charged with the offence of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. However, if the offence is deemed particularly severe, offenders may face up to ten years in jail, along with additional penalties. 

This is the first known instance of Chinese authorities making an arrest after Beijing’s initial regulations to oversee the use of “deepfake” technology went into effect in January. What makes this even more interesting, is that governments all over the world, are trying to legislate the usage of AI tools, as well as how they are developed. This particular incident will surely shape how AI-based regulations are formulated in case an individual needs to be prosecuted.