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UK Antitrust Agency Sets Seven Principles to Guide AI Regulation

According to the CMA, the AI principles will help to promote competition in the UK, while also protecting consumers from exploitation.

The United Kingdom’s (UK) antitrust agency has set principles that should form the framework for guiding artificial intelligence (AI) regulation. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published a press release on Monday and included a report following a review of AI systems referred to as foundation models (FMs).

In the press release, the CMA explained that these models are AI systems with broad capabilities that can be adjusted to fit specific purposes. The CMA states that extensive FM developments have increased adoption, especially with applications like OpenAI’s ChatGPT. While the agency admits that FMs can boost economic growth, it adds that there could be a “significant impact” on the UK’s economy.

In the report, the antitrust watchdog states that AI could help create new products and services. The CMA also states that AI will help to improve existing products. According to the watchdog, this would help to bring healthy competition to the market. The CMA also said AI would make it easier for new entrants to challenge market leaders, all for economic growth. However, the CMA warns that AI may expose consumers to fraud and misleading information. The press release also added that there are other questions raised by FMs, including data protection, copyright, security, and online safety. To this end, the CMA proposed principles to guide the development, use, and adoption of AI for businesses, individuals, and the general economy.

UK CMA Proposes Principles for AI Regulation

According to the CMA, the principles ensure customer protection while promoting competition. The press release states and explains 7 principles: Accountability, Access, Diversity, Choice, Flexibility, Fair Dealing, and Transparency. Over the next few months, the CMA plans to engage with local and international stakeholders to develop these AI principles. It hopes that this development will help the stakeholders to “foster effective competition and consumer protection”.

According to the CMA’s Chief Executive Officer Sarah Cardell, getting ahead of the AI wave is important. Cardell notes that this is better than waiting to correct problems that may emerge. Cardell also added that while there are benefits to AI usage, there are also real risks. She said:

“The speed at which AI is becoming part of everyday life for people and businesses is dramatic. There is real potential for this technology to turbo charge productivity and make millions of everyday tasks easier – but we can’t take a positive future for granted. There remains a real risk that the use of AI develops in a way that undermines consumer trust or is dominated by a few players who exert market power that prevents the full benefits being felt across the economy.”

The CMA assures that the AI principles it proposed were born out of engagements with more than 70 stakeholders. The release states that the stakeholders include consumer and industry organizations, academics, businesses that use AI, and foundation model developers.  In addition, the agency has said it will abide by these principles and use them to approach regulation regarding the development and adoption of artificial intelligence.



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Tolu is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Lagos. He likes to demystify crypto stories to the bare basics so that anyone anywhere can understand without too much background knowledge.
When he’s not neck-deep in crypto stories, Tolu enjoys music, loves to sing and is an avid movie lover.

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