UK weighs in on AI development: It can drive substantial economic growth


The UK Markets and Competition Authority said it would examine the development, deployment and social impact of AI.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has turned its attention to artificial intelligence (AI) after announcing an examination of the impact of this technology on consumers and the economy.

On May 4, the regulator said it would examine the development and deployment of foundation models – applications like OpenAI’s ChatGPT – taking into account key principles. These include security, transparency, fairness and accountability.

Sarah Cardell, executive director of the CMA, commented that since AI tools “burst” into the public sphere, regulators have had their eye on it.

“It is a rapidly developing technology that has the potential to transform the way companies compete, as well as drive substantial economic growth.”

He went on to consider it “crucial” that UK businesses and consumers have access to the potential benefits of AI technologies while being protected from misinformation. AI-generated counterfeits have already started to populate the web, leading to lawsuits.

The initial review will examine the competitive market for AI foundation models and their use. Regulators plan to monitor how they can expand and present opportunities, along with the risks to competition and consumers.

The CMA says its goal is to help technology develop in ways that “ensure open and competitive markets and effective consumer protection.”

In addition, the review is intended to produce “guiding principles” for consumer protection and to support healthy competition as technologies develop. A report on the results is scheduled to be published in September 2023.

This announcement follows the publication of a white paper on AI by the UK government in March 2023.

On April 25, the UK Prime Minister and Technology Secretary revealed funding of £100 million ($124.8 million) to support a task force to accelerate the country’s AI readiness.