UK’s CMA drafts principles for responsible AI use, fostering competition

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has proposed a set of seven principles to guide the responsible development and deployment of generative artificial intelligence (AI). The principles aim to foster competition and protect consumers in the rapidly evolving AI industry.

CEO of the CMA, Sarah Cardell, emphasized the potential of AI to boost productivity and simplify daily tasks, but also stressed the need for proactive measures to ensure a positive future. According to her, the CMA’s role is to shape these markets in ways that foster strong competition and effective consumer protection. She added that it was critical for the CMA to be at the forefront of this thinking rather than waiting for problems to emerge and only then stepping in with corrective measures.

The seven principles encompass accountability, access, diversity, choice, flexibility, fair dealing, and transparency. They are designed to hold AI developers accountable for their system outputs, ensure ongoing access to key inputs without unnecessary restrictions, promote diversity in business models, guarantee sufficient choice for businesses in using foundation models (FMs), allow flexibility to switch and/or use multiple FMs as needed, prohibit anti-competitive conduct, and provide consumers and businesses with information about the risks and limitations of FM-generated content.

Will Hayter, Senior Director for the CMA’s Digital Markets Unit (DMU), highlighted the significance of these principles in an evolving market like AI. He mentioned that if the market works well, both consumers and businesses benefit. However, if it doesn’t function properly, people could lose out and compelling businesses could struggle to compete.

The CMA is seeking feedback on these principles from stakeholders and plans to publish a final version in early 2024. As part of its comprehensive engagement program initiated on Tuesday, the UK will host an AI safety summit in November. The summit will underscore the country’s position as a global leader in AI regulation.

The CMA’s focus on foundation models, substantial AI models designed for customization in downstream customer applications through fine-tuning, reflects their crucial role in the AI supply chain. These models are intended to serve as building blocks for others in the development of customer-facing apps and services. The CMA believes that proactive regulation of these models is key to fostering competition and safeguarding consumers.


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