The UK Competition and Markets Authority is investigating AI

The investigation will examine the impact of AI on modern markets, and what risks are involved.
high on life

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a major investigation into the growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in modern markets, with aims to analyse the risks and rewards of implementing this technology.

As surfaced by Eurogamer, this investigation could have a major impact on the games industry, as adoption of supplementary AI writing and artwork is growing in studios around the world.

Recently, it was revealed that some background environmental artwork in Squanch Games’ High on Life was produced using an AI tool. Additionally, Ubisoft recently announced the use of a proprietary AI writing tool to aid narrative designers in developing first drafts of dialogue in games. While both announcements were met with major backlash, it appears vocal criticisms over potential job losses and the reduction of paid work won’t be enough to stem the rising AI tide.

Read: Ubisoft faces major backlash after announcing AI writing tool

The CMA investigation will reportedly focus on the application of AI in the consumer market, and how it will impact competition, consumer protection, privacy, and copyright.

‘AI has burst into the public consciousness over the past few months but has been on our radar for some time. It’s a technology developing at speed and has the potential to transform the way businesses compete as well as drive substantial economic growth,’ Sarah Cardell, Chief Executive of the CMA said in a press release.

‘It’s crucial that the potential benefits of this transformative technology are readily accessible to UK businesses and consumers while people remain protected from issues like false or misleading information. Our goal is to help this new, rapidly scaling technology develop in ways that ensure open, competitive markets and effective consumer protection.’

It’s expected that the CMA review will produce analysis on the foundation models of AI, and provide guidance to both creators and consumers of AI-supported products. The most interesting part of the investigation will likely relate to the technology’s ramifications for copyright in the UK – as previous court rulings have determined AI-produced content is not human-made and therefore cannot be copyrighted.

Should this investigation reach a similar conclusion, games and other media that lean heavily into AI adoption may run into similar trouble maintaining their copyright in the United Kingdom – in a decision that may have a wider global impact.

The CMA is currently seeking views and evidence on AI technology from stakeholders, with submissions to the investigation set to close on 2 June 2023. The organisation has outlined a September 2023 release for its complete report and findings on the implications of AI in the modern market.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.