OpenAI CEO signals potential exit from EU over regulatory concerns

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman speaks during a keynote announcing ChatGPT integration for Bing at Microsoft on February 7, 2023 in Redmond, Washington. — AFP

OpenAI, the company behind the widely known ChatGPT, may consider leaving the European Union (EU) if it fails to comply with upcoming AI regulations proposed by the EU. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman expressed the possibility during an event in London. The European Union is developing what could become the world’s first comprehensive set of rules governing artificial intelligence. According to the draft regulations, companies using generative AI tools like ChatGPT will be required to disclose copyrighted material used in the development of their systems.

Altman acknowledged that the current version of the EU AI Act may be overly regulatory. However, he hoped that the rules and regulations would be revised and reduced based on feedback from industry experts. OpenAI intends to make a genuine effort to comply with the regulations once they are finalized. Altman highlighted the need for changes in the definition of general-purpose AI systems, including AI models like ChatGPT that have diverse applications and are backed by tech giants like Microsoft.

Earlier this month, EU parliamentarians reached a consensus on the draft AI Act. The next step involves the consideration of the final details of the bill between representatives of the Parliament, the Council and the Commission. Altman emphasized that there is still room for improvement and suggested various amendments that could be made to the legislation to strike a better balance.

If OpenAI exits the EU due to regulatory hurdles, it will have significant implications for the AI ​​landscape in the region. OpenAI’s cutting-edge AI technologies have gained widespread recognition, and their potential departure could affect AI research, development, and access in Europe. While the company hopes to find common ground with the European Union, its willingness to consider other options underscores the challenges faced by the evolving regulatory landscape.

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