The director of Germany’s antitrust authority, the Federal Cartel Office, has issued a cautionary statement regarding the potential of AI to enhance the market dominance of major technology companies. He emphasized the need for regulators to remain vigilant in detecting activities that could stifle competition.
Andreas Mundt’s remarks highlight the growing regulatory apprehensions about technology behemoths, armed with extensive collections of user data, gaining a significant advantage in emerging technologies applied to smart homes, internet search, digital advertising, automobiles, and other goods and services.
Alphabet’s Google and Microsoft have recently become rivals in AI, with the latter investing heavily in OpenAI and the former building the Bard AI chatbot, among other investments.
The surge in AI popularity has prompted governments worldwide to try to impose rules on the use of the technology, with the European Union in a race to adopt its landmark AI rules by the end of the year.
“For us as a competition authority, this new technology mustn’t further strengthen the dominance of the large corporations,” Mundt told reporters.
“The danger is great because you need two things for AI: powerful servers and vast amounts of data. Big internet corporations have both,” he said.
Mundt said the field was still open to competition, but regulators must ensure it remains.
“However, models from smaller providers could also become so popular that they develop in the direction of a kind of operating system, a new platform,” he said.
“Both developments are possible, and as an authority, we have to be careful that any competitive potential is not buried from the outset,” he added.