(Bloomberg) -- Federal and state enforcers in the US “need to be vigilant early” as artificial intelligence develops to ensure businesses comply with existing laws and ensure the biggest companies don’t use their power to kill off promising innovations, Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan said.

The US and other regulators made mistakes as the internet was developing in the early 2000s by not intervening to stop digital gatekeepers from growing to control the web today, she said.  

“We need to be vigilant early,” said Khan, speaking at an event Thursday evening in New York City focused on AI and venture capital investment. “If anything you need to be especially vigilant on the front-end because it’s much more difficult to solve these problems after.”

Khan said the FTC, which enforces both antitrust and consumer protection laws, is already seeing instances in which AI is being used to “turbocharge” fraud and scams. She noted AI voice cloning technology as an example where scammers have defrauded people by posing as family members in distress.

While Congress may eventually pass new laws focused on AI, Khan said laws like those prohibiting deception already exist and apply to the industry.

“There is no AI exemption from laws prohibiting discrimination,” she said. “As this stuff becomes more embedded in how daily decisions are being made, I think they invite and merit a lot of scrutiny. Those problems and concerns are quite urgent and I think enforcers, be it at the state level or the national level, are going to be acting.”

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