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UK: CMA publishes report on AI foundation models

On September 18, 2023, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced, that it had published a report following its initial review, of competition and consumer protection considerations in the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI) foundation models (FMs).

In particular, the report highlights the potential benefits of the development and use of FMs, for individuals and businesses, including new and better products and services, easier access to information, scientific and health breakthroughs, and lower prices. The report also outlines the competition and consumer protection risks posed by FMs such as an increase in false and misleading information and AI-enabled fraud.

Principles to guide competitive AI markets and protect consumers

Notably, the report proposes principles that would best guide the development and deployment AI FMs. These principles include:

  • accountability: FM developers and deployers are accountable for outputs provided to consumers;
  • access: ongoing ready access to key inputs, without unnecessary restrictions;
  • diversity: sustained diversity of business models, including both open and closed;
  • choice: sufficient choice for businesses so they can decide how to use FMs;
  • flexibility: having the flexibility to switch and/or use multiple FMs according to need;
  • fair dealing: no anti-competitive conduct including anti-competitive self-preferencing, tying, or bundling; and
  • transparency: consumers and businesses are given information about the risks and limitations of FM-generated content so they can make informed choices.

Additionally, the CMA specified that it would undertake a program of engagement with various stakeholders across the UK and internationally, to further develop the aforementioned principles.

You can read the press release here, the full report here, and a summary of the report here.