On November 14, 2018, Washington Legal Foundation contributed to the Federal Trade Commission’s ongoing Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century. WLF submitted a formal comment on Hearing #7, an investigation of the “consumer protection issues associated with the use of algorithms, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics in business decisions and conduct.” Because the benefits of artificial intelligence are concrete, while the potential harms are largely speculative, the FTC should not rush to regulate new AI applications. WLF’s comment offers guidelines the FTC should follow in order to avoid doing more harm than good. The core theme of the guidelines is restraint. The FTC should wherever possible let companies and consumers determine for themselves the best uses of AI and the optimal balance of performance, transparency, and privacy. The FTC should be careful not to disrupt immensely useful AI innovation.

WLF Comment