Published on May 26th, 2023 📆 | 2728 Views ⚑


OpenAI has no plans to leave Europe, says CEO

  • OpenAI CEO reverses earlier threat to leave Europe
  • Says had productive week of conversations about regulating AI
  • EU lawmakers were critical about OpenAI's threat region

May 26 (Reuters) - OpenAI has no plans to leave Europe, CEO Sam Altman said on Friday, reversing a threat made earlier this week to leave the region if it becomes too hard to comply with upcoming laws on artificial intelligence.

The EU is working on what could be the first set of rules globally to govern AI and Altman on Wednesday said the current draft of the EU AI Act was "over-regulating".

"We are excited to continue to operate here and of course have no plans to leave," Altman said in a tweet on Friday.

His threat of quitting Europe had drawn criticism from EU industry chief Thierry Breton and a host of other lawmakers.

Altman has spent the past week crisscrossing Europe, meeting top politicians in France, Spain, Poland, Germany and the Britain to discuss the future of AI, and progress of ChatGPT.

He called his tour a "very productive week of conversations in Europe about how to best regulate AI!"

OpenAI had faced criticism for not disclosing training data for its latest AI model GPT-4. The company had cited a "competitive landscape and safety implications" for not disclosing the details.

While debating the AI Act draft, EU lawmakers added new proposals that would force any company using generative tools, like ChatGPT, to disclose copyrighted material used to train its systems.

"These provisions relate mainly to transparency, which ensures the AI and the company building it are trustworthy," Dragos Tudorache, a Romanian member of the European Parliament who is leading the drafting of EU proposals, told Reuters on Thursday.

"I don't see a reason why any company would shy away from transparency."


EU parliamentarians agreed on the draft of the act earlier this month. Member states, the European Commission and Parliament will thrash out the final details of the bill later this year.

AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT, backed by Microsoft (MSFT.O), has created new possibilities around AI and fears around its potential have provoked excitement and alarm – and brought it into conflict with regulators.

OpenAI first clashed with regulators in March, when Italian data regulator Garante shut the app down domestically, accusing OpenAI of flouting European privacy rules. ChatGPT came back online after the company instituted new privacy measures for users.

OpenAI on Thursday said it will award 10 equal grants from a fund of $1 million for experiments to determine how AI software should be governed and Altman called those grants "how to democratically decide on the behavior of AI systems".

Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Stockholm, Martin Coulter in London and Foo Yun Chee in Brussels; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Thomson Reuters

Supantha leads the European Technology and Telecoms coverage, with a special focus on emerging technologies such as AI and 5G. He has been a journalist for about 18 years. He joined Reuters in 2006 and has covered a variety of beats ranging from financial sector to technology. He is based in Stockholm, Sweden. 

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