UK Competition Authority to Review AI Model Risks

CMA to publish findings in just three months

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

May 5, 2023

2 Min Read
Ana Gic/Pixabay

At a Glance

  • The U.K.’s competition watchdog will do a wide-ranging review of AI models across security, safety and copyright issues.

The U.K.’s competition watchdog is set to conduct a major review into AI, including possible risks foundation models could pose on competition and consumer protection.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will examine how the competitive markets for foundation models and their use could evolve.

The review will encompass a variety of AI-related issues concerning safety and security, copyright and impact on human rights as ways markets work.

Upon conclusion, the competition watchdog aims to create a series of principles that will support competition and protect consumers as AI foundation models develop.

“AI has burst into the public consciousness over the past few months but has been on our radar for some time,” Sarah Cardell, chief executive of the CMA. “It’s crucial that the potential benefits of this transformative technology are readily accessible to U.K. businesses and consumers while people remain protected from issues like false or misleading information.”

As part of its review, the CMA is asking for stakeholder views and evidence. The deadline for submissions is June 2. Submissions will be used to form the basis of a CMA report on its findings, which will be published in September.

The CMA’s investigation shows it is being given greater powers to hold big-name tech firms to account, said Alex Haffner, competition partner at law firm Fladgate.

“This announcement only serves to reinforce the notion that CMA is determined to use those powers as broadly as it can,” Haffner said.

Gareth Mills, a lawyer for Charles Russell Speechlys, said the short turnaround time from concluding the review to publishing the report shows the CMA “does not intend to let the moss grow under its feet.”

“The issue of consumer protection is clearly at the forefront of the CMA’s announcement and reflects a regulatory concern that rapidly developing AI technology could represent a risk for consumers given potential misleading information,” Mill added.

The launch of the CMA’s review follows a U.K. government white paper that placed the onus on regulators to enforce rules on AI and employ a non-legislative 'light touch' approach to regulation.

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About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

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