Thursday, 8 June 2023


OpenAI CEO’s threat to quit EU draws lawmaker backlash By Reuters

OpenAI CEO's threat to quit EU draws lawmaker backlash

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: OpenAI CEO Sam Altman testifies before a Senate Judiciary Privacy, Technology & the Law Subcommittee hearing titled ‘Oversight of A.I.: Rules for Artificial Intelligence’ on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 16, 2023. REUTERS/Elizabeth Fr

By Martin Coulter and Supantha Mukherjee

LONDON/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – For months, Sam Altman, CEO of Microsoft-backed OpenAI has urged lawmakers around the world to draw up new rules governing the technology. On Wednesday, he threatened the ChatGPT maker may leave the EU if the bloc “overregulated”.

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

More than six months after OpenAI unveiled its AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT to the world, fears around its potential have provoked excitement and alarm – and brought it into conflict with regulators.

One place Altman didn’t get to this week was 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 cancelled a scheduled visit to Brussels, two sources familiar with the matter said. OpenAI did not respond to a request for comment.

    “The current draft of the EU AI Act would be over-regulating, but we have heard it’s going to get pulled back,” Altman said in London on Wednesday.

EU lawmakers responsible for shaping the AI Act disputed Altman’s claims. “I don’t see any dilution happening anytime soon,” Dragos Tudorache, a Romanian member of the European Parliament who is leading the drafting of EU proposals, told Reuters.

    “We are nevertheless happy to invite Mr. Altman to Parliament so he can voice his concerns and hear European lawmakers’ thoughts on these issues,” he said.

EU industry chief Thierry Breton also criticised the threat, saying the draft rules are not for negotiation.

    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.


Dutch MEP Kim van Sparrentak, who has also worked on the draft EU law, said she and her colleagues “shouldn’t let ourselves be blackmailed by American companies.”

“If OpenAI can’t comply with basic data governance, transparency, safety and security requirements,…

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