US Government Warns Big Tech Companies not to take advantage of AI Hype

The SEC has issued a stern warning to companies to keep their "AI claims in check"


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On Monday, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a pretty strongly worded warning to tech companies, not to peddle empty hype about Artificial Intelligence (AI) products. This message came in form of a blog entry by Michael Atleson, Attorney, FTC Division of Advertising Practice, in the business blog section of the organization’s official website.

In recent years, Silicon Valley heavyweights and other business have touted AI as the next big thing. The SEC used the written medium to issue a warning that false and unsubstantiated claims about any AI product’s efficacy will be frowned upon.

The SEC, discerningly, points out that the term “Artificial Intelligence” is now being used as an ambiguous marketing term.

“Right now, it’s a hot one, that some advertisers wont refrain from overusing and abusing” the agency wrote, via Mr Atleson.

The question of efficacy 

One of the FTC’s main concerns is exaggeration by business, on what their AIs can actually do. Deceptive performance claims that lack scientific support or have subjective results that apply to certain types of users or under certain conditions.

In claims that involve comparing how an AI product does a job better than a non-AI one, the FTC recommends that companies refrain from making such claims if substantive proof cannot be provided.

With products text synthesizers and Image generators like ChatGPT and Stable Diffusion on the market and wowing the public, big players want a piece of the action. Companies like Microsoft and Google have unveiled their own AI products, Bing AI chatbot and Bard, respectively.

The SEC has taken aim at the tech industry on the issue of AI regulation before, in 2021. They warned tech companies not to use automated tools that could discriminate against customers based in things like race.

“Whatever it can or can’t do, AI is important, and so are the claims you make about it. You don’t need a machine to predict what the FTC might do when those claims are unsupported,” Mr Atleson ended the article on this note.


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