The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced an examination of the impact of AI on consumers and the economy, with a focus on foundation models. The regulator plans to examine the development and deployment of applications like OpenAI’s ChatGPT against key principles, including safety, transparency, fairness, and accountability. The review will examine the competitive market for AI foundation models and their usage, as regulators aim to monitor how they can expand and present opportunities, along with risks to competition and consumers.

Sarah Cardell, the chief executive of the CMA, highlighted the importance of AI technologies, which have the potential to transform the way businesses compete and drive substantial economic growth. However, she also stressed the need for businesses and consumers in the UK to have access to the potential benefits of AI technologies while being shielded from fake information. AI-generated fakes have already started populating the web, resulting in lawsuits. As such, the CMA aims to help develop AI in ways that ensure open, competitive markets and effective consumer protection.

In addition, the review is intended to produce “guiding principles” for the protection of consumers and support healthy competition as the technologies develop. A report on the findings is scheduled to be published in September 2023, and the announcement follows the publication of a white paper on AI from the UK government in March 2023.

The UK government is committed to ensuring the country is prepared for the opportunities and challenges of AI, with a task force set up to accelerate the country’s AI readiness. The Prime Minister and Technology Secretary revealed funding of 100 million British pounds ($124.8 million) to support the task force on April 25. The task force aims to identify opportunities to use AI to transform industries, create jobs, and increase productivity.

The CMA’s examination of AI reflects the growing importance of the technology and its potential impact on the economy and society. As the use of AI continues to expand, it is important to ensure that it is developed and deployed in ways that are transparent, accountable, and fair, and that protect the interests of consumers and promote healthy competition. With the publication of its findings in September 2023, the CMA’s review will provide valuable insights into the current state of AI in the UK and its potential for the future.

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