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FTC Nominees Stress Prioritizing Prevention of Fraudulent Use of Artificial Intelligence

CIO Insider Team | Thursday, 21 September, 2023
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At a confirmation hearing this week, three commissioner nominees expressed bipartisan support for the problem by stating that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should prioritize preventing the fraudulent use of artificial intelligence.

The hearing was convened to discuss the nominations of two Republicans, Melissa Holyoak and Andrew Ferguson, who are the solicitor generals of Virginia and Utah, respectively, as well as the re-nomination of Democratic Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter.

From 2019 through 2021, Ferguson served as the Republican leader in the U.S. Senate's top lawyer.

Senator John Thune questioned Slaughter about the FTC's role in enforcing laws pertaining to artificial intelligence, and Slaughter responded that the FTC's responsibility was to pursue cases when laws against unfair and deceptive acts and practices were broken, regardless of the employment of artificial intelligence.

Ferguson and Holyoak concurred, with Holyoak pointing out that fraud might be accelerated by AI by making robocalls and phishing emails more convincing to potential victims.

If confirmed by the Senate, as expected, the two Republicans will not change the balance of power at the five-member FTC, which also enforces antitrust law. It currently has a Democratic chair, Lina Khan, and two Democratic commissioners.

Senator John Thune questioned Slaughter about the FTC's role in enforcing laws pertaining to artificial intelligence, and Slaughter responded that the FTC's responsibility was to pursue cases when laws against unfair and deceptive acts and practices were broken, regardless of the employment of artificial intelligence.

“There may be things (involving AI) that Congress thinks are problematic that go beyond what the FTC Act covers and that is up to you,” she said.
Considering recent partisan conflicts at the agency, the agreement was startling. Christine Wilson, a former Republican FTC commissioner, resigned this year and harshly criticized agency management.

If confirmed by the Senate, as expected, the two Republicans will not change the balance of power at the five-member FTC, which also enforces antitrust law. It currently has a Democratic chair, Lina Khan, and two Democratic commissioners.

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