The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it was examining the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on consumers, businesses and the overall economy as concerns for security continue to grow.
The rapid rise of generative AI applications like OpenAI’s ChatGPT has forced regulators to pay attention to how the technology could disrupt the way society and businesses operate. Concerns are mounting around data privacy, misinformation and the unchecked potential for AI to supersede human intelligence.
As a range of industries continue to reevaluate how the rise of this technology will affect them in the future, governments across the world are attempting to ensure safeguards without stifling innovation.
The UK government announced, last month, that it would not create a new regulatory body dedicated to generative AI. Instead, it was splitting regulatory responsibility between the government bodies that look at human rights, health and safety, and competition.
The CMA said it was going to start focusing on understanding how large language models that use masses of unlabelled data were developing.
Sarah Cardell, CMA CEO, said that AI had started to grow in popularity and develop at a rapid speed.
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“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,” she said.
The CMA’s decision follows similar reviews taking place across the world as public awareness of AI increases.
Experts have welcomed the investigation by the CMA, with many questioning how the “hyperscaler acquisitions” of Microsoft and Google could lead to AI being “a closed commodity.”
Anita Schjøll Abildgaard, CEO and Co-founder of Iris.ai, told Verdict: “For many years, AI has been a space where exploration, imagination, and innovative engineering work are rewarded: enabling ambitious start-ups to compete and create open-source solutions that benefit our society as a whole.”
“However, the current trend of hyperscaler acquisitions and consolidation both threatens to stifle innovation and turn AI into a closed commodity that you buy from one of three or four providers,” she added.
Some countries have taken stronger measures. Italy, for example, decided to take ChatGPT offline last month to investigate a breach in personal data rules.
This ban was eventually lifted but had ripple effects on other European countries, with some launching their own investigations into the application.
The news comes after Facebook owner Meta announced it had uncovered a rising number of malware scams related to ChatGPT last month.
Meta said it had uncovered 10 malware families and over 1,000 malicious links in two months, all of which were being advertised as tools to OpenAI’s smash-hit.
GlobalData is the parent company of Verdict and its sister publication.