The Federal Trade Commission has opened an investigation into OpenAI, the artificial intelligence start-up that makes ChatGPT, over whether the chatbot has harmed consumers through its collection of data and its publication of false information on individuals.
In a 20-page letter sent to the San Francisco-based company this week, the agency said it was also looking into OpenAI’s security practices. The F.T.C. asked the company dozens of questions in its letter, including how the start-up trains its A.I. models and treats personal data.
The investigation was earlier reported by The Washington Post and confirmed by a person familiar with the investigation.
The F.T.C.’s investigation poses the first major regulatory threat to OpenAI. Sam Altman, the start-up’s co-founder, testified in Congress in May and said he invited A.I. legislation to oversee the fast-growing industry, which is under scrutiny because of how the technology can potentially kill jobs and spread disinformation.
OpenAI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.