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United States: OpenAI under FTC investigation

The US Federal Trade Commission is investigating ChatGPT over claims of misrepresentation.

Antifraud action - July 28, 2023

On July 13, 2023, The Washington Post revealed that the Federal Trade Commission has launched an expansive investigation into OpenAI. In particular the FTC sent the company a list of consumer complaints over “false, misleading, disparaging or harmful” information published by ChatGPT.

More generally, the regulator has concerns over generative AI’s tendency to just “come up” with answers when it cannot find concrete information. The FTC is also investigating potential privacy and copyright violations during ChatGPT’s trial run with public data. Finally, the investigation intends on uncovering the consequences of a data leak ChatGPT suffered in March of 2023.

The founder and CEO of OpenAI, Sam Altman, indicated his willingness to cooperate with the FTC, even though he regrets the media exposure. He also denied any tendency to “make things up,” arguing ChatGPT’s purpose was to “know the world, not individuals.”

The United States could soon pass a bill to legislate AI, according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Some analysts see the decision as a “Brussels effect”; the European Union is currently finalizing its own bill to regulate AI use.

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