The AI Technology Ethics Group has asked the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate OpenAI for potential consumer protection violations, reports The Verge. The group claims the organization’s deployment of AI text generation tools was “biased, deceptive, and a risk to public safety.”
Center for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Policy (CAIDP) filed a complaint after a publication of an open letter calling for the suspension of large generative experiments with artificial intelligence.
CAIDP President Mark Rothenberg was one of the signatories of the letter, along with a number of AI researchers and OpenAI co-founder Elon Musk. Like the open letter, the complaint includes a call to slow down the development of generative AI models and introduce stricter government oversight.
In CAIDP complaint they point at potential threats from the OpenAI GPT-4 generative text model, which was announced in mid-March. Threats include the ways in which GPT-4 can create malicious code and highly specialized propaganda, and the ways in which biased training data can lead to entrenched stereotypes or unfair racial and gender preferences in things like hiring. The report also points to significant privacy breaches in OpenAI’s product interface – such as a recent bug that exposed OpenAI’s ChatGPT chat histories and possibly the payment details of other users.
In the complaint, CAIDP asks the FTC to stop any further commercial deployment of the GPT models and to require an independent evaluation of the models before any future deployment. It also calls for a public reporting tool similar to the one that allows consumers to file fraud complaints. In addition, it seeks to clarify the FTC’s rules for generative AI systems, building on the agency’s ongoing but still relatively informal research and evaluation of AI tools.
As CAIDP notes, the FTC has expressed interest in regulating AI tools. In recent years, it has warned that biased AI systems could lead to enforcement action. FTC Chair Lina Khan said the agency would be looking for signs of large incumbent tech companies trying to lock out competition. But an investigation of OpenAI would mark a major escalation in its efforts.