Markets Watchdog Launches Inquiry into AI’s Impact on UK Consumers and Economy

Markets Watchdog Launches Inquiry into AI’s Impact on UK Consumers and Economy

As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to grow and become increasingly popular across various industries, it will inevitably come under scrutiny by regulators.

Regulators are already starting to take notice and considering how to regulate AI to ensure it is used responsibly and ethically. In the UK, its markets watchdog has begun its earliest reviews of the technology.

UK CMA Now Looking Into Generative AI

The United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recently launched an inquiry into the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the country’s economy and consumers, Cointelegraph tells us in a report.

The regulator has said it will investigate the development and deployment of foundation models, which includes applications like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, against principles such as safety, transparency, fairness, and accountability, among others. 

The inquiry also aims to ensure that the new and rapidly-scaling technology develops in ways that provide open, competitive markets and effective consumer protection.

CMA Probing Economic Potential of Emerging AI Tech

CMA exec Sarah Cardell has acknowledged that AI tools have quickly become widely used, and regulators have been monitoring their impact. 

She emphasized that AI has the power to change how businesses compete and drive significant economic growth.

However, she also notes that it is important that UK businesses and consumers can enjoy the advantages of AI while being protected from false information. 

Already, AI-generated fakes are appearing online, leading to legal disputes. As a result, the CMA must ensure that AI technology develops in a way that upholds consumer protection and healthy competition.

What’s next?

As we learned in a recent press release, the upcoming review will focus on the cutthroat arena of AI foundation models and their many applications. 

Naturally, regulatory watchdogs are keen to keep a close eye on how these technologies can be harnessed to create new opportunities while remaining mindful of the attendant risks to both competition and consumers. 

As a result, the review will be working to establish a set of “guiding principles” that will serve to safeguard consumers and promote healthy competition as the tech landscape continues to evolve. 

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We can expect to see the fruits of this review in the form of a comprehensive report set to be published by the CMA in September 2023.

UK Prioritizing AI Research 

This investigation comes hot on the heels of the UK government’s recently released white paper on AI, which debuted in March 2023. 

Within its pages, the paper makes a compelling case for why the UK must prioritize investment in AI research and development, increase accessibility to data, and construct a regulatory framework that simultaneously nourishes innovation while also looking out for the well-being of consumers. 

The government is evidently taking this mandate seriously, as evidenced by their announcement on April 25 that they will allocate a hefty £100 million ($124.8 million) to a task force dedicated to fast-tracking the UK’s AI capabilities.

Stay posted here at Tech Times.

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