U.S. advocacy group asks FTC to stop new OpenAI GPT releases

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: OpenAI logo is seen in this illustration taken, February 3, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

By Diane Bartz

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The tech ethics group Center for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Policy is asking the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to stop OpenAI from issuing new commercial releases of GPT-4, which has wowed some users and caused distress for others with its quick and human-like responses to queries.

In a complaint to the agency on Thursday, which is on the group’s website, the Center for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Policy called GPT-4 “biased, deceptive, and a risk to privacy and public safety.”

OpenAI, which is based in California and backed by Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:)., unveiled the fourth iteration of its GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) AI program in early March, which has excited users by engaging them in human-like conversation, composing songs and summarizing lengthy documents.

The formal complaint to the FTC follows an open letter signed by Elon Musk, artificial intelligence experts and industry executives that called for a six-month pause in developing systems more powerful than OpenAI’s newly launched GPT-4, citing potential risks to society.

The group in its complaint said OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4 fails to meet the FTC’s standard of being “transparent, explainable, fair and empirically sound while fostering accountability.”

For example, OpenAI exposed private chat histories to other users, and one AI researcher found that it was possible to “take over someone’s account, view their chat history, and access their billing information without them ever realizing it,” the group said in its complaint.

Marc Rotenberg, president of CAIDP and a veteran privacy advocate, said he was concerned that there were commercial pressures pushing the company to put out a product that wasn’t ready.

“Open AI is simply not complying with the FTC guidelines and there is also concern that the product is unfair and deceptive,” said Rotenberg, who was one of the more than 1,000 signatories to the letter urging a pause in AI experiments.

The group urged the FTC “to open an investigation into OpenAI, enjoin further commercial releases of GPT-4, and ensure the establishment of necessary guardrails to protect consumers, businesses, and the commercial marketplace.”

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