OpenAI’s ChatGPT: US FTC Examines Risks of Consumer Harm

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OpenAI’s AI-powered chatbot app, ChatGPT, is currently under investigation by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over concerns of potential harm caused to consumers. The popular app, developed by OpenAI, has faced criticism for its accuracy and the negative impact it may have on users.

The FTC’s investigation, led by Chair Lina Khan, focuses on whether OpenAI has engaged in unfair or deceptive practices related to risks of harm to consumers, including reputational harm. In a civil subpoena made public on Thursday, the FTC asked OpenAI to provide detailed information about the measures taken to address or mitigate the risks of false, misleading, or disparaging statements being generated by the company’s large language model products.

One particular area of concern raised by the FTC is the lack of checks on the data that chatbots like ChatGPT can mine, which has led to instances where people’s sensitive information has been revealed. Reports have also emerged of libel, defamatory statements, and falsehoods being generated by the chatbot, prompting concerns of fraud and deception.

Critics of the FTC, however, question the agency’s jurisdiction in cases where ChatGPT has caused reputational damage to individuals. Adam Kovacevich, founder of the industry trade group Chamber of Progress, argues that these matters fall under the category of speech regulation, which is beyond the FTC’s authority.

OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, expressed disappointment with the FTC’s request but stated that the company will cooperate with the agency. Altman took to Twitter to express his disappointment, highlighting that the leak of the subpoena hinders the building of trust between the FTC and OpenAI.

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Marc Rotenberg, president of the Center for AI and Digital Policy, filed a complaint against ChatGPT in March. While he acknowledges the unclear jurisdiction of the FTC over defamation, Rotenberg argues that misleading advertising and disinformation related to commercial practices do fall within the agency’s purview.

The FTC holds extensive authority to regulate unfair and deceptive business practices that could harm consumers and stifle fair competition. However, critics claim that the agency has occasionally overstepped its authority. A recent example is a federal judge’s decision to dismiss the FTC’s attempt to block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

The Biden administration has also recognized the need for regulations on artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT. The Commerce Department issued a public request for comment in April, seeking input on accountability measures for AI. The White House’s Office of Science Technology Policy is actively working on strategies to address the benefits and potential harms of AI, including privacy concerns and electoral disruption.

Lawmakers from both parties, led by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, are prioritizing the regulation of artificial intelligence in the current Congress. However, lawmakers are cautious about potential impacts on US innovation and the need to compete with China in dominating the AI market.

OpenAI’s creators have themselves called for increased government oversight of AI development. CEO Sam Altman testified before Congress in May, urging lawmakers to establish licensing and safety standards for advanced AI systems. Altman acknowledges both the potential and risks of AI, emphasizing the importance of proper management to avoid disastrous consequences.

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The ongoing investigation into ChatGPT by the FTC represents a significant step in the US federal government’s involvement in regulating emerging technologies. As the investigation unfolds, the outcome could have far-reaching implications for the AI industry and the regulations placed on AI-driven apps like ChatGPT.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Related to the Above News

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an AI-powered chatbot app developed by OpenAI.

Why is ChatGPT under investigation by the US FTC?

The US Federal Trade Commission is investigating potential harm caused to consumers by ChatGPT. The investigation is focused on concerns regarding accuracy and negative impact.

Who is leading the FTC's investigation?

The investigation is led by Chair Lina Khan.

What is the FTC investigating specifically?

The FTC is examining whether OpenAI has engaged in unfair or deceptive practices related to risks of harm to consumers, including reputational harm. They are particularly concerned with false, misleading, or disparaging statements generated by OpenAI's language model products.

What are some concerns raised about ChatGPT?

One concern is the lack of checks on the data that ChatGPT mines, which has resulted in the revelation of users' sensitive information. There have also been reports of libel, defamatory statements, and falsehoods being generated, causing concerns of fraud and deception.

Why are there questions regarding the FTC's jurisdiction in this matter?

Some critics argue that issues related to reputational damage caused by ChatGPT fall under the realm of speech regulation, which is beyond the FTC's authority.

How has OpenAI responded to the FTC's request?

OpenAI's CEO, Sam Altman, expressed disappointment but stated that the company will cooperate with the agency. He highlighted the leak of the subpoena as hindering trust-building between the FTC and OpenAI.

Who has filed a complaint against ChatGPT?

Marc Rotenberg, president of the Center for AI and Digital Policy, filed a complaint against ChatGPT in March.

What is the Biden administration's stance on AI regulation?

The Biden administration recognizes the need for regulations on AI tools like ChatGPT. The Commerce Department has issued a public request for comment seeking input on accountability measures, while the White House's Office of Science Technology Policy is actively working on strategies to address the benefits and potential harms of AI.

Are lawmakers working on regulating artificial intelligence?

Yes, lawmakers from both parties, led by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, are prioritizing the regulation of artificial intelligence. However, they are cautious about potential impacts on US innovation and the need to compete with China in dominating the AI market.

What is OpenAI's stance on government oversight of AI development?

OpenAI's creators have called for increased government oversight of AI development. CEO Sam Altman testified before Congress and urged lawmakers to establish licensing and safety standards for advanced AI systems.

What could the outcome of the FTC investigation mean for the AI industry?

The outcome of the investigation could have significant implications for the AI industry and the regulations placed on AI-driven apps like ChatGPT. It represents a notable step in the US federal government's involvement in regulating emerging technologies.

Please note that the FAQs provided on this page are based on the news article published. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is always recommended to consult relevant authorities or professionals before making any decisions or taking action based on the FAQs or the news article.

Aniket Patel
Aniket Patel
Aniket is a skilled writer at ChatGPT Global News, contributing to the ChatGPT News category. With a passion for exploring the diverse applications of ChatGPT, Aniket brings informative and engaging content to our readers. His articles cover a wide range of topics, showcasing the versatility and impact of ChatGPT in various domains.

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