Skip to main content

In a new report, Federal Trade Commission staff detailed key takeaways from an October 2023 public virtual roundtable that examined how generative artificial intelligence, tools that can generate outputs like text, images, and audio on command, is being used and is affecting professionals in music, filmmaking, software development, and other creative fields.

During the virtual event, working creative professionals representing artists, writers, actors, musicians and other creative fields noted that while there are benefits to AI, such as potentially aiding their own work, they also expressed concerns: 

  • Collection without Consent: Creative professionals noted how their past work was being collected and used without their consent or awareness to train generative AI models, including by using expansive interpretations of prior contractual agreements.
  • Nondisclosure: Participants also expressed concern that they might not even know that their works are being used because many AI developers do not publicly disclose what works have been included in training data.
  • Competing for work with AI: Participants said that generative AI outputs are starting to appear in the venues where creative professionals compete for work, potentially making it more difficult for consumers and potential publishers to find human-made work.
  • Style mimicry: Some participants expressed concerns about generative AI tools being used to mimic their own unique styles, brands, voices and likenesses, which could allow strangers and former clients to create knockoffs including synthetic voices and images.
  • Fake endorsements: Participants said generative AI has been used to create false depictions of artists selling products that they never endorsed or used by trolls to generate offensive content using their cloned voices.

While some companies have begun allowing artists to opt out of having their work used by AI, participants said this option puts the burden on creators to police a rapidly changing marketplace. They also noted that opt-outs would only address future uses and would be difficult to implement given the lack of transparency by AI developers. Instead, participants urged AI developers to adopt an opt-in approach to using artists work, which would give artists control over whether they want their work to be used for generative AI.

The staff report noted that, although many of the concerns raised at the event lay beyond the scope of the Commission’s jurisdiction, targeted enforcement under the FTC’s existing authority in AI-related markets can help protect fair competition and prevent unfair or deceptive acts or practices. The report stated that the FTC will continue to closely monitor generative AI industry developments and will remain vigilant and ready to use its law enforcement and policy tools to foster fair competition, protect consumers, and help ensure that the public benefits from this transformative technology.

The Commission voted 3-0 to issue the staff report.

The lead staffers on the report are Madeleine Varner, Jessica Colnago, and Stephanie Nguyen.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. The FTC will never demand money, make threats, tell you to transfer money, or promise you a prize. You can learn more about consumer topics and report scams, fraud, and bad business practices online at Follow the FTC on social media, read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Contact Information

Media Contacts