FTC Roundtable Considers Impact of Generative Artificial Intelligence on Creative Fields

On October 4, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) hosted a virtual roundtable discussion to understand the impact of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) on creative fields.

FTC Chair Lina M. Khan acknowledged that GenAI tools can impact creators’ work and livelihood in both positive and harmful ways. Therefore, she advised that the FTC intends to closely monitor the marketplace to track artificial intelligence (AI)-related developments and will take action as appropriate to prevent exploitative or deceptive business practices. The FTC will also consider whether legal or regulatory changes are necessary to prevent the use of GenAI to facilitate unfair methods of competition, collusion, discrimination, or deception.

Other highlights from the roundtable included:

  • FTC Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter recognized that changes to copyright law may be necessary to ensure it can continue to protect creators’ rights and livelihoods, while also acknowledging that guilds and labor may need to reconsider how to approach collective bargaining. Where possible, the FTC will work with stakeholders to address gaps in the law, including by fighting fraud, deception, and unfair methods of competition related to GenAI. 
  • The roundtable discussion featured members from a variety of creative fields, including writers, musicians, artists, and members of organizations and unions such as the Authors Guild, the Writers Guild, SAG-AFTRA, and the American Federation of Musicians. These participants expressed concern about the use of copyrighted works to train GenAI models without creators’ consent, compensation, or credit. They also discussed the need for explicit consent and control over how creators’ works are used.
  • The panelists called for regulations to ensure that GenAI models use only public domain content or legally licensed data, and for companies to disclose the sources of their training data. While panelists expressed openness to licensing content for use in data sets and to train GenAI models, they emphasized that licensing should be based on an “affirmative consent” model rather than an “opt-out” model.
  • The panelists also discussed the issue of GenAI being used in deceptive ways, such as creating AI-generated models as part of diversity and inclusion initiatives instead of engaging in fair and equitable hiring practices. They called for regulations to ensure that AI is used ethically and responsibly.


The FTC roundtable was intended only to facilitate discussion about GenAI and is not necessarily predictive of future regulatory activity. Nonetheless, it is likely safe to expect more activity in this area from the FTC, which also launched its Office of Technology earlier this year as part of an effort to better understand these new technologies.

As we noted previously, the FTC also opened an investigation into OpenAI, which suggests GenAI is an enforcement priority and is likely to remain so in the future.


Continue Reading