UK antitrust watchdog launches initial review of generative AI models

London, May 4 (IANS) The UK’s competition watchdog on Thursday launched an initial review of “AI foundational models” like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Microsoft’s Bing and Google’s Bard, saying the move will help create an early understanding of the market for AI models and what opportunities and risks these could bring.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said the initial piece of work will help create competition and consumer protection principles to best guide the development of AI-driven markets going forward.

“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,” said Sarah Cardell, Chief Executive of the CMA.

“Our goal is to help this new, rapidly scaling technology develop in ways that ensure open, competitive markets and effective consumer protection,” she added.

The CMA launched the initial piece of work to help create an early and shared understanding of what opportunities and risks the AI scenarios could bring for competition and consumer protection.

In a white paper, the UK government in March asked regulators, including the CMA, to think about how the innovative development and deployment of AI can be supported in line with the 5 overarching principles of: safety, security and robustness; appropriate transparency and explainability; fairness; accountability and governance; and contestability and redress.

In line with the government’s AI white paper and the CMA’s role to support open, competitive markets, the review seeks to understand how foundation models are developing and produce an assessment of the conditions and principles that will best guide the development of foundation models and their use in the future.

The development of AI touches upon a number of important issues, including safety, security, copyright, privacy, and human rights, as well as the ways markets work.

“Many of these issues are being considered by government or other regulators, so this initial review will focus on the questions the CMA is best placed to address — what are the likely implications of the development of AI foundation models for competition and consumer protection?” said the regulator.

The CMA will publish the review in “early September”, with a deadline of June 2 for interested stakeholders to submit responses to inform its work.

–IANS

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