Global Consumer Organisations Share Concerns About Generative AI

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Consumer groups are closely monitoring issues of manipulation, bias, discrimination, privacy and data protection revealed in a 2023 report as generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbots are set to transform the way we search the web.

Generative AI is a subset of artificial intelligence that can generate synthetic content such as text, images, audio, or video, which can closely resemble human-created content. Such systems are poised to change many of the interfaces and content consumers meet today.

Director of the Consumer Affairs Department Wendy Frederick says World Consumer Rights Day 2024 will highlight the concerns and actions being taken worldwide to ensure consumers are protected against harmful AI technology.

“This year the global consumer network consisting of 200 members in 100 countries worldwide including the Consumer Affairs Department and the National Consumer Association in Saint Lucia, will focus on the theme Fair and responsible AI for consumers. Artificial Intelligence has evolved at a rapid rate and many consumers benefit from the use of generative AI technology, but there are also harms and challenges posed by the use of generative Artificial Intelligence on consumers.”

She continued: “In 2023 the Norwegian Consumer Council published a report which revealed violations of privacy and personal integrity to the creation of fraud and misinformation. As responsible consumer advocates, we must now begin the dialogue globally and ask, what measures are needed to protect consumers against deep fakes and misinformation? How do we ethically navigate the collection and use of consumer data? Who is responsible when a person is harmed by generative AI? These are questions that must be answered if we are to build the foundations for genuine transparency and trust with generative AI.”

In preparation for World Consumer Rights Day on March 15, several consumer organizations around the world have launched campaigns and initiatives to inform and empower consumers about generative AI.

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