According to reports in The Washington Post and The New York Times, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has accused OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, and the artificial intelligence firm by scraping public data and exposing false information through chatbots. It has launched an investigation into whether it violated consumer protection laws.
The agency reportedly sent OpenAI a 20-page letter asking for more information about its AI technology, products, customers, privacy safeguards and data security arrangements. An FTC spokeswoman declined to comment.
OpenAI founder Sam Altman said he was disappointed news of the investigation began as a “leak” and said the move “doesn’t help build trust”, but added that the company would work with the FTC. .
“It is very important to us that our technology is secure and consumer-friendly, and we are confident that we are compliant with the law,” he wrote. “We protect the privacy of our users and design our systems to help them learn about the world, not the individual.”
The FTC move poses the most significant regulatory threat to the nascent but rapidly growing AI industry so far, but it’s not the only challenge facing these companies. Comedian Sarah Silverman and two other authors have accused both OpenAI and Facebook parent company Meta of illegally “training” their AI systems by exposing them to datasets containing illegal copies of their work. was sued for copyright infringement.
On Thursday, OpenAI and The Associated Press announced a deal for AI companies to license the AP’s archive of news articles.
Altman has become something of a global AI ambassador after testifying before Congress in May and following a tour of European capitals where regulators are putting the finishing touches on new AI regulatory frameworks. surfaced as Altman himself calls for AI regulation, but he tends to emphasize existential threats that are difficult to assess, such as the possibility that superintelligent AI systems could one day turn against humanity.
Focusing on the far-flung “science fiction trope” of super-powered AI, actions against existing harms require regulators to delve into data transparency, discriminatory practices, and the potential for deception and disinformation. Some argue that it can be difficult.
“It’s the fear of these systems and our lack of understanding of them that collectively scares everyone,” said Brown University computer scientist and former White House Office of Science and Justice. Deputy Director Suresh Venkatasbramanian said. a technology policy official told the Associated Press in May. “This fear is completely unfounded and distracts us from all the concerns we are currently dealing with.”
News of FTC’s OpenAI investigation comes just hours after intense House Judiciary Committee hearings as FTC Chairman Rina Khan confronts Republicans who say they’ve been too aggressive in pursuing tech companies’ misconduct allegations. announced later.
Republicans said she has been harassing Twitter since its acquisition by Elon Musk, arbitrarily suing big tech companies, and refusing to back down from certain lawsuits. Khan responded by arguing that more regulation is needed as companies grow and that the tech conglomerate could hurt the economy and consumers.