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Consumer protection bodies urged to investigate ChatGPT, others

The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) has joined the chorus of concern about ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence chatbots, calling on EU consumer protection agencies to investigate the technology and the potential harm to individuals.

The growing popularity of Microsoft-backed Open AI’s ChatGPT, which can mimic humans and create text and images based on prompts, has spurred others such as Alphabet’s Google, Amazon’s cloud division AWS and Meta Platforms to announce similar tools.

BEUC, the umbrella group for 46 consumer organisations from 32 countries, set out its worries in separate letters earlier this month to the network of consumer safety authorities (CSN network) and to the network of consumer protection authorities (CPC network).

The lobby group said content produced by the chatbots which appears true and reliable but is often factually incorrect, can mislead consumers and also result in deceptive advertising. It said younger consumers and children are more vulnerable to such risks.

“BEUC thus asks you to investigate the risks that these AI systems pose to consumers as a matter of urgency, to identify their presence in consumer markets and to explore what remedial action must be taken to avoid consumer harm,” BEUC Deputy Director General Ursula Pachl wrote in the letter to the CPC network and the European Commission. Reuters

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