The head of Germany’s cartel office has warned that artificial intelligence could increase the market power of big tech and that regulators should be on the lookout for any anti-competitive behaviour.
Andreas Mundt’s comments underscore regulatory concerns that tech companies, with their vast troves of consumer data, have a competitive edge in new technologies used in smart homes, web search, online advertising, cars and many other products and services. can get
Alphabet’s Google and Microsoft have recently become rivals in artificial intelligence (AI), with the latter investing heavily in OpenAI and building the Bard AI chatbot, among other investments.
The rise in popularity of AI has prompted governments around the world to try to regulate the use of the technology, with the European Union racing to adopt its landmark AI rules by the end of the year.
“For us as a competition authority, it is very important that this new technology does not further strengthen the dominance of large corporations,” Mundt told Reuters in an interview on Friday.
“The risk is huge because you need two things above all for AI, powerful servers and huge amounts of data. The big internet corporations have both,” he said.
Mundt said the field is still open to competition but regulators need to make sure it stays that way.
“However, even small provider models can become so popular that they evolve in the direction of one type of operating system, one new platform,” he said.
“Both developments are possible, and as an authority we have to be careful not to bury any competitive potential early on.”