OpenAI CEO, Sam Altman, has threatened to pull the company’s ChatGPT maker out of the EU if it is “overregulated” by the proposed EU AI Act. Altman has spent the past week meeting with politicians across Europe to discuss the future of AI and the progress of ChatGPT. However, he cancelled a scheduled visit to Brussels, where EU regulators are working on the AI Act, which could be the first set of rules globally to govern AI. EU lawmakers responsible for shaping the AI Act have disputed Altman’s claims, and OpenAI is expected to discuss how AI should be regulated on Thursday.
As mentioned in a recent report by the Indian Express, Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, has threatened to pull ChatGPT, their AI-powered chatbot, out of the EU if the bloc overregulates the technology. Altman has spent the past week meeting with top politicians in France, Spain, Poland, Germany, and the UK to discuss the future of AI and the progress of ChatGPT. However, he canceled a scheduled visit to Brussels, where EU regulators are working on the long-awaited EU AI Act, which could be the first set of rules globally to govern AI.
Altman claims that the current draft of the EU AI Act would be over-regulating, but lawmakers responsible for shaping the AI Act disputed his claims. Dragos Tudorache, a Romanian member of the European Parliament who is leading the drafting of EU proposals, said he doesn’t see any dilution happening anytime soon. He also invited Altman to Parliament so he could voice his concerns and hear European lawmakers’ thoughts on these issues.
EU industry chief Thierry Breton also criticized Altman’s threat, saying the draft rules are not for negotiation. Dutch MEP Kim van Sparrentak added that they shouldn’t let themselves be blackmailed by American companies. She said if OpenAI can’t comply with basic data governance, transparency, safety, and security requirements, then their systems aren’t fit for the European market.
Altman’s threat comes amid fears around the potential of ChatGPT, which has provoked excitement and alarm and brought it into conflict with regulators. In March, Italian data regulator Garante shut the app down domestically, accusing OpenAI of flouting European privacy rules.
By February, ChatGPT set a record for the fastest-growing user base of any consumer application app in history. On Thursday, OpenAI is expected to discuss in more detail how AI should be regulated, amid Altman’s busy schedule of meetings with world leaders such as UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Altman’s threat to leave the EU if the bloc overregulates the technology has drawn lawmaker backlash. However, it remains to be seen whether the EU AI Act will be passed in its current form or whether changes will be made to address concerns raised by Altman and others. As AI continues to advance, it’s clear that regulations governing the technology will be crucial to ensure its safe and ethical development and deployment.