Would leave Europe if current form of regulation was adopted, says OpenAI CEO Sam Altman

OpenAI CEO and tech entrepreneur Sam Altman said yesterday that his firm would potentially exit Europe if the upcoming artificial intelligence (AI) regulations being drafted the European Union were adopted in their current form.

speaking during an event at University College London.
Sam Altman (right) speaking during an event at University College London. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@CharlieElwess

The EU is working on what could be the first set of rules globally to govern AI. As part of the draft, companies deploying generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT, will have to disclose any copyrighted material used to develop their systems.

Altman said that OpenAI would try to comply with regulation laws in Europe when they were set before deciding whether to leave or not, speaking during an event at University College London.

"The current draft of the EU AI Act would be over-regulating, but we have heard it's going to get pulled back," he told Reuters. "They are still talking about it." 

Altman had called for “regulation of AI” last week during his first appearance in front of the US Congress. 

“We think that regulatory intervention by governments will be critical to mitigate the risks of increasingly powerful models,” Altman had said.

EU parliamentarians reached common ground on the draft of the act earlier this month. It will now be debated between the representatives of the Parliament, the Council and the Commission to thrash out the final details of the bill.

"There's so much they could do like changing the definition of general-purpose AI systems," Altman said. "There's a lot of things that could be done."