Do Italy and Germany Want ChatGPT Stopped?


Italy leaped like a frog in a jumping contest to find a pretext to ban ChatGPT.

Now there are rumors that Germany may follow suit.

Based on feedback I have from Draft2Digital, which has sales sites in the EU and other parts of the world, I suspect many countries are thinking of jumping on the techno-panic.

This would make me laugh it weren't so stupid. It immediately put me in mind of the Inquistion's five hundred year war agains the invention of the printing press and book burnings that followed. 

Yes, it is that stupid, and it will work exactly as well. In short, it will drag behind any country or region that attempts, while the countries that embrace the technology will surge into the cultural lead.

When I started looking up details about the history of the Fifteenth Century Technopanic About The Horrors Of The Printing Press, to refresh my memory to write this post, I found that FEE had beaten me to the punch. I will follow their lead and point you to an exchange in this novel: The Justification of Johann Gutenberg.

Quoting from Bob Corbett's review:

That coincidence of the effects of print technology between the 15th century introduction of printing and the 20th century introduction of the personal computer and the internet (both are necessary for the effect on free speech) .makes an intriguing comparison

I have personally experienced this change and it has been dramatic. For most of my working life as a professor of philosophy, I was amazingly free to express any ideas and positions I wished. But, since I chose not to write books or essays for publication, the scope of my free speech was quite limited to the classroom and occasional public lecture. However, in 1999 I opened my own web page and since then I have been contacted by thousands of people who have found my writings and e-mail forums on the .internet

Those contacts have been in many areas of my thought and work – book reviews, philosophy, Haitian history and society, local neighborhood history, family history, travel .notes and other topics

In past times I would not have had this freedom of speech in any realistic sense unless I went through the censoring gates of the owners of print media and the other media of radio and TV

This is what amazes me the most. We don't have to go back to the 1500s to see the impact that a technological revolution has on people.  Most of us have lived through it! 

If you are an indie author or you read indie books, you've lived through more than one... and seen that the benefits accrue to the ordinary people at the expense of gatekeepers. Every time.

Maybe that's the real reason gatekeepers fidget and agitate against innovation that makes their supremacy obsolete?

The fifteenth-century abbot Johannes Trithemius, ranted against the printing press in a tract called De laude scriptorum manualium — “In Praise of Scribes.” 

He had to let the the tract be printed for people to read it.

So, yeah, Italy thinks a ban is going to work?

Good luck with that.


If you want to know how I think writers can use ChatGPT without scarifying their individuality or creativity or humanity, check out my book on the subject, AI for Authors.

If you are in Italy or some other country that's trying to ban this, but are still curious, email me and I'll send you a free copy.

Meanwhile, enjoy this video about Eggman's AI Generated Daughter: