In this photo illustration, a video created by Open AI's newly released text-to-video "Sora" tool plays on a monitor in Washington, DC. Image Credit: AFP

Rome: Italy's data protection watchdog said Friday it has launched an investigation into Sora, a new artificial intelligence (AI) tool made by US firm OpenAI.

The Italian Data Protection Authority said it was concerned over "the possible implications for the processing of personal data of users located in the European Union and in particular in Italy", and it has asked OpenAI for "clarifications".

Sora, unveiled in February but still in a test phase and not yet available to the public, can create realistic videos of up to a minute long via simple user prompts.

The watchdog said OpenAI - which also makes chatbot ChatGPT and the image-generating DALL-E - has 20 days to provide information on a series of issues.

They include what data is collected and used to train the tool, "if it concerns personal data, and if those include certain categories (religious or philosophical beliefs, political opinions, health, sexual life)".

It also wants to know if Sora will comply with European data protection rules if it is released in the EU.

Italian authorities temporarily blocked OpenAI's chatbot ChatGPT at the end of March last year, accusing it of not respecting European regulations and not having a system in place to verify users' ages.