FTC is investigating whether ChatGPT harms consumers

Following a complaint by CAIDP (Center for AI and Digital Policy), the Federal Trade Commission has launched an investigation of OpenAI whether its products, primarily, ChatGPT, is causing harms to consumers.

The Center for AI and Digital Policy (CAIDP) has escalated its case against OpenAI, creator of the ChatGPT AI product, by filing a supplement to the original complaint lodged with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in March 2023, accusing OpenAI of “unfair and deceptive practices.” This CAIDP action introduces new developments in the global debate over ChatGPT and increases pressure on the FTC to expedite an investigation.

ChatGPT has been the center of numerous investigations from consumer agencies around the world since the original CAIDP complaint. Many of these international investigations have resulted in concrete actions and heightened oversight on OpenAI, with several having implications for how AI should be regulated.

“The continued global focus on regulating AI products such as ChatGPT only emphasizes the need for immediate action from the FTC,” said Marc Rotenberg, Executive Director for CAIDP. “While other countries have taken swift action, the FTC has yet to acknowledge the first complaint made by CAIDP, raising concerns about the agency’s ability to address the pressing issues that are emerging from the rapidly evolving AI industry.”

In response to mounting concerns over the ethical implications and the regulatory needs of such AI products, regulatory agencies in Italy, Canada, France, Australia, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, the U.K., and Japan, have initiated investigations and legal proceedings against OpenAI.

The supplement to the original CAIDP complaint outlines these international efforts, sheds light on newly surfaced issues not fully captured in the initial complaint, such as risks to democracy, and calls attention to statements by FTC Commissioners that the agency would act to safeguard consumers from the harms of unregulated AI products.

With growing public support for AI product regulation, expert opinions, bipartisan AI legislation proposed by the Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and President Biden’s calls for ensuring product safety before public deployment, CAIDP reaffirms its commitment to pressuring the FTC for urgent intervention.

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Image credit: Image by jcomp on Freepik

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