Cruz questions FTC chair over push toward AI investigation

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) sent a letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairwoman Lina Khan asking about the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) by her agency Monday.

In the letter, first obtained by Politico, Cruz asks Khan about the FTC’s stance on AI regulation. He notes recent actions by Khan and the agency, like an investigation of the company behind ChatGPT and a New York Times op-ed by Khan in May in which she commits for the FTC to be vigilant in monitoring “unfair or deceptive” AI uses.

“For the FTC to undertake new regulation or an investigation, more than fearmongering and fanciful speculation are required by law,” Cruz’s letter reads.

“Your op-ed argues for going after ‘not just the fly-by-night scammers’ but also ‘the upstream firms that are enabling them’ by producing problematic AI ‘tools,’” he continues. “This approach is a stark departure from past FTC practice, as the Commission has traditionally focused on the harm caused by a product’s use—not its design—in its enforcement actions.”

In July, Khan went before the House Judiciary Committee and faced criticism from Republicans. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said the FTC chair was fostering “a system where her and her cronies have unchecked power over business practices in our country.”

–Updated at 2:29 p.m.

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