US antitrust chief to scrutinize AI sector for monopoly risks

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United States antitrust enforcer Jonathan Kanter will investigate the nation’s artificial intelligence (AI) sector in response to concerns about a few companies holding too much control.

In a Financial Times report, Kanter said he was examining AI’s competitive landscape and “monopoly choke points.” This includes computing power, data used to train large language models (LLMs), cloud service providers, engineering talent and hardware.

U.S. official wants to prevent AI monopoly

According to Kanter, the AI sector must urgently act to ensure that the already dominant technology firms do not have sole market control. The official said regulators are concerned that AI is “at the high-water mark of competition, not the floor.”

The executive also said that real-time intervention may be the most meaningful. “The beauty of that is you can be less invasive,” he added.

Kanter highlighted that the graphics processing units (GPUs) used to train LLMs have become scarce. The official said antitrust regulators also examine how chipmakers allocate their advanced products as demand increases.

On May 23, GPU provider Nvidia released its Q1 earnings report, showing that its revenue surged 262% from a year ago. After the report’s release, the company’s stock prices surged to a new all-time high of $1,007, sending its valuation above $2.5 trillion.

Nvidia revenue report. Source: Nvidia

Kanter said that there are already government initiatives to boost production. This includes the subsidies provided for chip manufacturing. In 2022, the Chips and Science Act was signed into law, allocating $39 billion in subsidies for chip manufacturing in the country.

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AI monopoly concerns

In 2023, SingularityNET chief operating officer Janet Adams expressed concern over Big Tech companies monopolizing artificial general intelligence (AGI), a conceptual version of AI that could think and develop like a human being.

In an interview, Adams told Cointelegraph that the “dystopic” future many imagine with AI might happen if the tech is monopolized. The executive believes these big companies will use the tech “for the profit of the few” and will not guide the world away from inequalities.

To prevent the worst, the executive believes that it’s important to decentralize the development of AI using blockchain technology.

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