The UK competition regulator has initiated an investigation into the artificial intelligence industry to assess potential competition and consumer issues. The inquiry comes as US tech giants Microsoft and Google contend over the technology.
The probe will investigate foundation models, including large language models and generative AI, which are being developed by companies like OpenAI, backed by Microsoft, reported CNBC.
Large language models are artificial intelligence systems that undergo extensive training with vast quantities of data in order to comprehend human language and produce responses that mimic human-like behavior.
Generative AI is a type of technology that allows users to generate new content based on the requests of internet users. An AI chatbot, for instance, may try to create a sonnet in the style of William Shakespeare, relying on the data used for training.
These technologies have the potential to increase productivity by simplifying tasks such as marketing copywriting or coding.
The development of AI systems has raised concerns among regulators about its impact on the labor market due to its rapid pace.
The Competition and Markets Authority announced on Thursday that they will conduct an analysis of the potential evolution of the competitive landscape surrounding foundation models and their usage. This examination will evaluate the opportunities and risks that may arise as a result, and establish guiding principles to promote competition and safeguard consumer interests as foundation models evolve.
“AI has burst into the public consciousness over the past few months but has been on our radar for some time,” Sarah Cardell, the CEO of the CMA, said in a statement Thursday. “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,” she added. “Our goal is to help this new, rapidly scaling technology develop in ways that ensure open, competitive markets and effective consumer protection.”
The CMA has announced that it will gather input and evidence from stakeholders until June 2. Afterwards, the regulator will release a report detailing their findings in September.