The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) is examining the market impacts of artificial intelligence (AI), asserting that the rapid proliferation of this new technology could distort competition in digital sectors and potentially expose consumers to vulnerable situations. As a response to these concerns, the national competition authority is proactively mapping out the risks involved, as communicated by them on Thursday.
It was elucidated that
artificial intelligence is currently exerting an influence on the daily lives of consumers, often without their explicit awareness.
With the swift development of AI-based tools and their integration into existing digital services, technology is poised to become a defining aspect of both individuals’ and businesses’ daily activities, and potentially, even governmental administration over time. While fair application of AI-based technology can contribute to economic and societal advantages, it was underscored that it also harbours significant risks.
As it was pointed out, the extraordinary resources required for AI technology are presently monopolized by the largest technological giants, potentially distorting market competition in digital sectors in the future.
Additionally, the application of AI-based technology may render consumers more vulnerable, given the prevalence of potentially hazardous data collection and advertising practices in the digital realm. Businesses, with the integration of artificial intelligence, can elevate the collection and utilization of consumer data, as well as the deployment of ‘dark patterns’ and personalized advertising. A notable example of this risk is evident in the operation of chatbots, where consumers may remain unaware whether the responses received from artificial intelligence are based on credible sources or are outcomes of paid promotions.
The GVH, in recent years, has imposed competition correction obligations on companies such as Google and PayPal, while significant competition supervision fines were levied on Apple and Booking.com in Hungary.
The National Competition Authority is currently investigating the conduct of Viber, a subsidiary of the Rakuten Group, and initiated proceedings in 2023 against Microsoft for likely inadequate disclosure to users regarding certain features of its AI-based chat-enhanced search.
The GVH concluded its investigation into TikTok at the end of November, achieving globally impactful results in the process.
Details regarding the steps, schedule, and other aspects of the market analysis by the Authority can be found on the official website of the Hungarian Competition Authority.
Source: Hungarian Conservative/GVH/MTI