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LONDON — The United Kingdom’s competition regulator has launched an investigation into the artificial intelligence industry, seeking to examine potential competition and consumer concerns as US tech giants. Microsoft And Google on technology.

The probe will focus on “baseline models” such as large language models and generative AI, such as those developed by Microsoft-backed OpenAI.

Large language models are artificial intelligence systems trained on massive amounts of data to understand human language and come up with human-like responses to user input.

Generative AI refers to tools that allow users to generate new content based on the requests of Internet users. For example, an AI chatbot might attempt to compose a sonnet in the style of William Shakespeare based on the training data it is working on.

These technologies have huge potential to make people more productive, reducing the time it takes to come up with simple copy for marketing purposes or write event code.

However, it has also caused concern to regulators concerned about the rapid pace at which AI systems are being developed and what that means for the job market.

The Competition and Markets Authority said, in a statement on Thursday, that it will study how the competitive landscape evolves and uses foundational models, explore the opportunities and risks such scenarios can bring, and issue guidelines to support competition and protect consumers as foundational models. Develop.

“Artificial intelligence has exploded into the public consciousness over the past few months but has remained on our radar for some time,” Sarah Cardell, executive director of the Capital Markets Authority, said in a statement Thursday. “It is a rapidly evolving technology that has the potential to change the way companies compete as well as drive significant economic growth.”

“It is critical that the potential benefits of this transformative technology are readily available to businesses and consumers in the UK while people are still protected from issues such as false or misleading information,” she added. “Our goal is to help this rapidly expanding new technology evolve in ways that ensure open and competitive markets and effective consumer protection.”

The Capital Markets Authority said it will seek opinions and evidence from stakeholders until the June 2 deadline. Then, the regulator will publish a report summarizing its findings in September.

Last week, the regulator stunned the global tech world when it moved to block Microsoft’s acquisition of the video game publisher Activision Blizzard. The move, which the CMA said was a response to concerns it could limit competition in the cloud gaming market, has prompted criticism from companies that it could set the UK back when it comes to technology.

The CMA’s announcement follows a request from the government to regulators to review how principles such as safety, transparency and accountability are incorporated into AI systems. In March, the government published a white paper outlining its approach to regulating technology.

It also comes as other regulators scrutinize the risks posed by artificial intelligence.

Earlier this week, White House Vice President Kamala Harris convened meetings with Microsoft, Google, AI startups OpenAI, and Anthropic to discuss the responsible development of artificial intelligence.

Meanwhile, US Federal Trade Commission Chair Lena Khan said the regulator is on alert for ways in which rapidly evolving artificial intelligence could be used to violate antitrust and consumer protection laws.

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