The United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has raised concerns about the evolving landscape of the artificial intelligence (AI) industry. In a report released on September 18, the CMA conducted a focused examination of AI Foundation Models, shedding light on the potential emergence of a limited number of dominant firms in the AI sector, which could pose risks to consumers.
The CMA stressed that AI has the capacity to usher in significant transformations in people’s daily lives and work environments, and these transformations might occur swiftly, affecting both competition dynamics and consumer experiences. In the short term, if competition remains weak or if developers disregard consumer protection laws, consumers might find themselves exposed to considerable volumes of false information and deceptive activities facilitated by AI.
Furthermore, the CMA underscored the potential for long-term risks, wherein a select few firms could amass or reinforce their positions of market dominance. Such a scenario might lead to subpar products, services, or elevated pricing, to the detriment of consumers.
To counter these potential issues, the CMA has put forth a series of guiding principles aimed at ensuring consumer safeguarding and encouraging healthy competition, all while maximizing the economic advantages of AI. These principles revolve around promoting increased accessibility and transparency, particularly in preventing companies from gaining undue advantages by leveraging AI models.
The CMA intends to provide an update regarding the adoption and implementation of these guiding principles in early 2024, concurrently maintaining an active dialogue with AI developers and businesses that deploy AI technologies.
This report highlights the UK’s growing acknowledgment of the imperative need for regulation and oversight within the AI domain to navigate potential hazards and maintain consumer trust. Similar concerns have been echoed by AI experts and regulatory bodies across the globe, signifying a broader necessity for the governance and supervision of AI technologies.