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Sophie Cameron

Features and Opinion Editor, Solicitors Journal

Competition and Markets Authority launches review of AI models

Competition and Markets Authority launches review of AI models


The initial review will focus on competition and consumer protection

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced on 4 May the launch of an initial review into the competition and consumer protection considerations concerning artificial intelligence (AI) foundation models.

The launch of the review follows the publication of the first AI white paper by the UK government on 29 March, which set out the approach to harnessing the potential of AI to transform the economy and regulating its development. The white paper stated that UK regulators would be issuing practical guidance to businesses in the next 12 months, as well as other tools and resources.

The CMA’s initial review will look to assess the development and deployment of AI foundation models, which includes generative AI and large language models, in the context of the five principles set out in the government’s AI white paper: safety; security and robustness; transparency and explainability; accountability and governance; and contestability and redress. More specifically the review will: examine how the competitive markets for foundation models and their use could evolve; explore what opportunities and risks these scenarios could bring for competition and consumer protection; and produce guiding principles to support competition and protect consumers as AI foundation models develop.

Central to the initial review is a document entitled ‘AI Foundation Models: Initial review,’ which provides an overview of AI foundation models, details on the scope of the review and the potential outcomes and next steps. The CMA is seeking views and evidence from interested stakeholders in response to the initial review document until 2 June. The regulator is due to publish a report on its findings in September.

Commenting on the launch of the review, Sarah Cardell, Chief Executive of the CMA, said: “AI has burst into the public consciousness over the past few months but has been on our radar for some time. 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. Our goal is to help this new, rapidly scaling technology develop in ways that ensure open, competitive markets and effective consumer protection.”