Recent advancements in machine learning technologies such as ChatGPT left lawmakers and regulators scrambling. Like many technologies with paradigm-shaping potential, the risks are often hypothetical while the benefits are tangible. Legislators should be hesitant to pass broad, overly burdensome regulations that hamper the development of new technologies. Transparency for consumers about new technologies is a better solution than heavy-handed restrictions, and it facilitates informed consumer choice and the development of better products and tools for consumers.
With the incredibly rapid popularity of tools like ChatGPT, questions regarding the potential risks of machine learning and artificial intelligence have prompted regulatory action. The Federal Trade Commission recently requested information from OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, with the intent of preventing fraud and deception. The FTC’s concern is that programs like ChatGPT may generate “false, misleading or disparaging statements” that cause reputational harm.
Systems like ChatGPT are in the early days of development, and there are many examples of it generating false information, but that doesn’t mean regulation provides a better alternative. Thankfully, companies like OpenAI have been clear about the current limitations of their technology to ensure consumers understand the reliability of their products.
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Justin Leventhal is a senior policy analyst for the American Consumer Institute, a nonprofit education and research organization. For more information about the Institute, visit www.TheAmericanConsumer.Org or follow us on Twitter @ConsumerPal.