OpenAI CEO Altman ‘Blackmails’ EU Over AI Regulation
Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning , Next-Generation Technologies & Secure Development , Standards, Regulations & Compliance
‘No Plans to Leave,’ Altman Hastily Tweets Akshaya Asokan (asokan_akshaya) • May 26, 2023 Image: Shutterstock
ChatGPT will continue to operate inside the European Union for now despite warnings from OpenAI CEO Sam Altman that he’s prepared to pull out from the bloc if he doesn’t like artificial intelligence regulations being prepared in Brussels.
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Altman, who’s been on a tour of European capitals, told reporters in London on Thursday that he’s dubious of the Artificial Intelligence Act regulation on track for enactment in the coming year.
“The details really matter,” Altman said, reported the Financial Times on Thursday. “We will try to comply, but if we can’t comply, we will cease operating.”
He backtracked during the early hours of Friday, tweeting, “We are excited to continue to operate here and of course have no plans to leave.”
European lawmakers earlier this month inserted new transparency and copyright obligations for generative AI into the draft proposal. Makers of “foundation models” such as GPT would also come under obligations prior to the model being made available to the public or other technology companies to reduce risks to “health, safety, fundamental rights, the environment and democracy and the rule of law.”
Altman earlier this month called for regulations in an appearance before a U.S. congressional panel, arguing for licensing and registration requirements as well as safety standards (see: OpenAI CEO Calls for Regulation But No Pause on Advanced AI).
During a Thursday talk at University College London, Altman clarified that he likes regulation, just not too much regulation. “The right answer is probably something between the traditional European-U.K. approach and the traditional U.S. approach,” he said.
Altman drew criticism from European policymakers including EU Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton, who called Altman’s talk of leaving Europe as an “attempt at blackmailing.” Dutch member of the European Parliament Kim van Sparrentak also characterized Altman as attempting to blackmail European regulators.
“If OpenAI can’t comply with basic data governance, transparency, safety and security requirements, then their systems aren’t fit for the European market,” she said, reported Reuters.