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Generative AI’s Potential Impact on Online Competition

April 24, 2024

Christopher Yoo
Christopher Yoo

Prof. Christopher S. Yoo writes that GenAI “has the potential to become one of the most transformative developments in the history of technology.”

Christopher S. Yoo, Imasogie Professor in Law and Technology, Professor of Communication, and Professor of Computer and Information Science, recently contributed “Generative AI’s Potential Impact on Online Competition” to Network Law Review’s symposium, “Dynamics of Generative AI.” 

The dynamic symposium provided space for lawyers, economists, computer scientists, and social scientists to gather their knowledge around a central question: What will define the future of AI ecosystems? The conference was co-hosted by the Weizenbaum Institute and the Amsterdam Law & Technology Institute.

Yoo is the Founding Director of the Center for Technology, Innovation & Competition (CTIC) at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. He has emerged as one of the world’s leading authorities on law and technology. One of the most cited scholars in administrative and regulatory law as well as intellectual property, he has authored five books and over 100 scholarly works.

From Network Law Review:

Generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) has the potential to become one of the most transformative developments in the history of technology. In particular, the recent release of OpenAI’s GPT4 has catalyzed myriad discussions about its potential impact on a wide range of productive and scholarly pursuits.

In addition, the advent of GenAI could also disrupt the basic structure of the tech industry. For example, as media reports have recognized, “machine learning and AI have remained at the heart” of the U.S. antitrust case against Google’s search practices, raising the question whether the OpenAI’s innovations now offer a new dimension along which search providers can compete.1 Regardless of which side of the argument ultimately prevails when the trial court issues its decision, most likely in the summer of 2024, this dispute provides an apt illustration of the impact that GenAI can have on the ways that tech industry companies compete with one another.

This article briefly examines the arguments raised in the Google case to explore how GenAI could reconfigure the fundamental nature of competition among technology firms. It also then discusses three areas of law—copyright, privacy, and security—that could place limits on the ability of GenAI to perform this transformative role.

Read Yoo’s full piece at Network Law Review.