OpenAI CEO’s threat to quit EU draws lawmaker backlash

  • OpenAI’s Altman warns EU not to overregulate
  • EU lawmakers dispute Altman’s claim they may well dilute EU AI Act
  • EU Act could be initial set of guidelines globally to govern AI
  • Italian regulators accused OpenAI of flouting European privacy guidelines

LONDON/STOCKHOLM, May possibly 25 (Reuters) – For months, Sam Altman, CEO of Microsoft-backed (MSFT.O) OpenAI has urged lawmakers about the globe to draw up new guidelines governing the technologies. On Wednesday, he threatened the ChatGPT maker may well leave the EU if the bloc “overregulated”.

Altman has spent the previous week crisscrossing Europe, meeting prime politicians in France, Spain, Poland, Germany and the UK to go over the future of AI, and progress of ChatGPT.

Far more than six months soon after OpenAI unveiled its AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT to the globe, fears about its possible have provoked excitement and alarm – and brought it into conflict with regulators.

1 spot Altman did not get to this week was Brussels, exactly where EU regulators are operating on the lengthy-awaited EU AI Act, which could be the initial set of guidelines globally to govern AI.

Altman cancelled a scheduled stop by to Brussels, two sources familiar with the matter mentioned. OpenAI did not respond to a request for comment.

“The existing draft of the EU AI Act would be more than-regulating, but we have heard it really is going to get pulled back,” Altman mentioned in London on Wednesday.

EU lawmakers accountable for shaping the AI Act disputed Altman’s claims. “I do not see any dilution taking place anytime quickly,” Dragos Tudorache, a Romanian member of the European Parliament who is major the drafting of EU proposals, told Reuters.

“We are nonetheless pleased to invite Mr. Altman to Parliament so he can voice his issues and hear European lawmakers’ thoughts on these problems,” he mentioned.

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

On Thursday, OpenAI is anticipated to go over in much more detail how AI should really be regulated, amid Altman’s busy schedule of meetings with globe 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, mentioned she and her colleagues “shouldn’t let ourselves be blackmailed by American businesses.”

“If OpenAI cannot comply with simple information governance, transparency, security and safety needs, then their systems are not match for the European marketplace,” she mentioned.

By February, ChatGPT set a record for the quickest expanding user base of any customer application app in history.

OpenAI initial clashed with regulators in March, when Italian information regulator Garante shut the app down domestically, accusing OpenAI of flouting European privacy guidelines. ChatGPT came back on the internet soon after the organization instituted new privacy measures for customers.

Meanwhile, EU lawmakers added new proposals to the bloc’s AI Act, forcing any organization employing generative tools, like ChatGPT, to disclose any copyrighted material employed to train its systems.

EU parliamentarians agreed on the draft of the act earlier this month. Member states, the European Commission and Parliament will thrash out the final specifics of the bill.

By means of the Council of Europe, person member states like France or Poland can also seek amendments just before the bill is passed potentially later this year.


Whilst the legislation has been in the operates for a number of years, new provisions particularly targeting generative tools had been drawn up only weeks ahead of a crunch vote on the proposals.

Reuters earlier reported some lawmakers had initially proposed banning copyrighted material getting employed to train generative AI models altogether, but this was abandoned in favour of stronger transparency needs.

“These provisions relate primarily to transparency, which guarantees the AI and the organization developing it are trustworthy. I do not see a explanation why any organization would shy away from transparency,” Tudorache mentioned.

Nils Rauer, a technologies companion at law firm Pinsent Masons, mentioned it was “no surprise” Altman had produced his comments as lawmakers worked by means of their proposals.

“It is unlikely OpenAI will turn its back on Europe. The EU is economically as well critical,” he mentioned. “You can not carve out the single marketplace, with close to 500 million individuals and a 15-trillion-euro ($16.51 trillion) economy.”

Altman was in Munich, Germany, on Thursday exactly where he mentioned he had met with Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Sergey Lagodinsky, a German MEP who also worked on the legislation, mentioned that although Altman may well be attempting to push his agenda amongst person nations, Brussels’ plans to regulate the technologies had been “in complete swing.”

“There may well be some amendments, of course,” he mentioned. “But I doubt they will modify the general trajectory.”

($1 = .9084 euros)

Reporting by Martin Coulter and Supantha Mukherjee further reporting by Alexander Huebner in Munich and Andreas Rinke in Berlin Editing by Susan Fenton

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Supantha Mukherjee

Thomson Reuters

Supantha leads the European Technologies and Telecoms coverage, with a unique concentrate on emerging technologies such as AI and 5G. He has been a journalist for about 18 years. He joined Reuters in 2006 and has covered a selection of beats ranging from monetary sector to technologies. He is primarily based in Stockholm, Sweden. 

Leave a Reply

Previous post Scientists use AI to discover new antibiotic against deadly hospital superbug
Next post Republican Presidential Hopefuls Take on the World