AI Foundation Models: initial review

This initial review will help create an early understanding of the market for foundation models and how their use could evolve; what opportunities and risks these could bring; and what competition and consumer protection principles will best guide the development of these markets going forward.

Review timetable

Date Action
March 2024 Proposed update published
18 September 2023 Report published
2 June 2023 Deadline to submit responses
4 May 2023 Launch of the initial review

The CMA is launching this initial piece of work to help create an early understanding of the market for foundation models and how their use could evolve; what opportunities and risks these scenarios could bring for competition and consumer protection; and what competition and consumer protection principles will therefore best guide the development of these markets going forward.

Update on AI: Foundation Models initial review

Since the publication of our report on 18 September 2023, we have begun a further programme of engagement, in the UK, US and elsewhere, to gather views on our report and proposed competition and consumer protection principles, which aim to guide the development of these markets . We would like to thank stakeholders that have already shared their feedback.

We intend to publish an update in March 2024 which we expect will include:

  • reflections on further developments in the market and the impact they may have from a competition and consumer perspective

  • our thinking on the proposed principles, how they have been received and whether they have been reflected in companies’ actions

  • an update on how FM developers are accessing key inputs, such as expertise, data and computing power, including through investments, mergers, acquisitions and partnerships

  • consideration of the role AI semiconductor chips (‘AI chips’) play in the FM value chain

In addition, we will continue to work closely with our Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum (DRCF) partners. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • a joint statement between the CMA and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) that will consider areas of cross-over between competition, consumer and data protection objectives. We expect to publish this in Spring 2024

  • joint research with DRCF members on consumers’ understanding and use of FM-generated services

We continue to welcome views from stakeholders on our report and proposed principles by 12 January 2024.

Launch document

Initial review

In the White Paper of March 2023, the UK government asked UK regulators, including the CMA, to think about how the innovative development and deployment of artificial intelligence can be supported in line with the 5 overarching principles of: safety, security and robustness; appropriate transparency and explainability; fairness; accountability and governance; and contestability and redress.

Supporting open, competitive markets, protecting consumers and businesses from unfair behaviour, and enabling innovation to thrive are core to the CMA’s mandate. We are therefore launching this initial piece of work to help create an early and shared understanding of:

  • how the competitive markets for foundation models and their use could evolve
  • what opportunities and risks these scenarios could bring for competition and consumer protection
  • which principles can best guide the ongoing development of these markets so that the vibrant innovation that has characterised the current emerging phase is sustained, and the resulting benefits continue to flow for people, businesses and the economy

This focus is also in line with our strategic priority to ensure effective competition in emergent markets as set out in our annual plan.

Contact

Email address: aifoundationmodels@cma.gov.uk

Media enquiries

Any media enquiries should be directed to press@cma.gov.uk

Published 4 May 2023
Last updated 16 November 2023 + show all updates
  1. Update on AI: Foundation Models initial review.

  2. AI Foundation Models: Initial report published

  3. First published.