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OpenAI targeted in FTC complaint urging halt of GPT rollouts

A prominent tech ethics group filed a complaint on Thursday with the US Federal Trade Commission urging the regulator to halt further commercial deployment of new generations of artificial intelligence technology that powers the popular OpenAI Inc. tool ChatGPT.

The complaint from the Center for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Policy, which is led by longtime privacy advocate Marc Rotenberg, centers on GPT-4, the latest language model behind the research group OpenAI’s ChatGPT, a computer program designed to convincingly simulate human conversation.

The group asked the FTC to open an investigation into OpenAI to determine if the commercial release of the fourth generation of the tool violates US and global regulations. Rotenberg was one of more than 1,000 people who signed a public letter on Wednesday calling on developers to pause training AI models on GPT-4 for at least six months.

“What we need is a practical solution, and that practical solution comes from the Federal Trade Commission,” Rotenberg said in a phone interview Wednesday. “What we need them to do is enjoin OpenAI to prevent further releases of GPT until adequate safeguards are available.”

OpenAI didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The FTC declined to comment.

The complaint from Rotenberg’s group, which he is set to submit on Thursday morning, called on the FTC to open the investigation and “ensure the establishment of necessary guardrails to protect consumers, businesses, and the commercial marketplace.”

The letter from AI experts on Wednesday came as the FTC vowed to take a hard look at the burgeoning artificial intelligence industry. FTC Chair Lina Khan said at a conference this week that the agency is paying close attention to developments in artificial intelligence to ensure the field isn’t dominated by the major tech platforms.

OpenAI is backed by Microsoft Corp., which along with Alphabet Inc.’s Google has been using artificial intelligence to enhance their products. Microsoft didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk was among the public letter’s signatories, highlighting the growing rift between Musk and OpenAI. Though Musk previously backed the research group, he left on sour terms in 2018. Bloomberg

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