Britain’s competition watchdog is launching a review of the artificial intelligence (AI) market including popular chatbots such as ChatGPT.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it will look at the opportunities and risks of AI, as well as the competition rules and consumer protections that may be needed.
It comes amid growing concerns over the rapid development of generative AI – accessible technology that can create text, images and video that is barely distinguishable from output from humans.
Regulators worldwide are stepping up their scrutiny of AI, given its explosion into general use worldwide and fears over its impact on jobs, industry, copyright, the education sector and privacy – among many other areas.
The CMA’s work on AI comes just days after the ‘godfather of AI’ Geoffrey Hinton resigned from his job at Google, warning that ‘bad actors’ will use the new technologies to harm others.
CMA chief executive Sarah Cardell said: ‘AI has burst into the public consciousness over the past few months but has been on our radar for some time.
‘It’s a technology developing at speed and has the potential to transform the way businesses compete as well as drive substantial economic growth.
‘It’s crucial that the potential benefits of this transformative technology are readily accessible to UK businesses and consumers while people remain protected from issues like false or misleading information.
‘Our goal is to help this new, rapidly scaling technology develop in ways that ensure open, competitive markets and effective consumer protection.’
The US Federal Trade Commission earlier this week also alerted the industry this week, saying it was ‘focusing intensely’ on how the technology is being used by firms and the impact it may have on consumers.
And on Wednesday, former UK government chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance told MPs on the science, innovation and technology committee that AI could have as big an impact on jobs as the industrial revolution.
The CMA said with many of the important issues under the spotlight due to the development of AI being considered by government and other regulators, its study will focus on the implications of competition for firms and consumer protection.
It has set a deadline for views and evidence to be submitted by June 2, with plans to report its findings in September.
The probe comes after the CMA came under fire last week from Microsoft after the watchdog blocked the company’s £55 billion takeover of gaming firm Activision Blizzard, which makes Call of Duty.
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