FTC Enhances AI Investigation Procedures to Tackle Unlawful Uses

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has streamlined its investigation process for cases involving unlawful use of artificial intelligence (AI), marking a significant move in regulating AI applications.

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Key Points

  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved a new streamlined process for investigating unlawful AI use.

  • This move aims to address potential legal violations and fraudulent activities involving AI technologies.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has initiated a significant policy change by approving a new process for investigating cases involving the unlawful use of artificial intelligence (AI). This streamlined process is designed to enhance the FTC's ability to issue civil investigative demands (CIDs), which are compulsory requests similar to subpoenas, in AI-related investigations while maintaining the authority to decide when these CIDs are issued.

The omnibus resolution, effective for ten years, aims to advance consumer protection and competition investigations by obtaining necessary documents, information, and testimony. This change is part of the FTC's ongoing commitment to tackling AI-related legal violations and fraudulent activities. FTC Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter, during a U.S. Senate confirmation hearing, emphasized the importance of focusing on AI challenges, including enhancing phishing emails and robocalls through AI technologies.

The FTC's action aligns with rising concerns about AI's role in amplifying fraudulent activities. With the increasing sophistication of AI, including voice cloning and generative AI, there's a growing need to safeguard consumers against fraud and other risks. In response, the FTC recently announced a competition to find the best methods to protect consumers from fraud related to voice cloning, highlighting the potential of AI for both beneficial and harmful uses.

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