Sam Altman, president of Y Combinator, pauses during the New Work Summit in Half Moon Bay, California, U.S., Monday, Feb. 25, 2019.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
In just two days, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman appeared to do a 180 on his public view of European AI regulation — first threatening to shut down operations in Europe if regulation crossed the line, then retracting his claims and now saying the firm “no plans to leave.”
Altman spoke to reporters in London on Wednesday and detailed his concerns about the European Union’s Artificial Intelligence Act, which is due to be finalized in 2024, the Financial Times reported.
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“The details really matter,” Altman said. “We will try to comply, but if we cannot comply, we will cease operations.”
The legislation, which could be the first of its kind to govern artificial intelligence, was originally designed for “high-risk” uses of artificial intelligence, such as in medical equipment, recruitment and lending.
Now, amid the boom in generative artificial intelligence, lawmakers have proposed expanded rules: Manufacturers of large machine learning systems and tools such as large language models, such as chatbots such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and others, will have to disclose the content generated artificial intelligence, and publish a summary of any copyrighted information used as training data for their systems.
OpenAI has drawn criticism for not disclosing the methods or training data for GPT-4, one of ChatGPT’s models, after its release.
“The current draft EU law on artificial intelligence would be excessive regulation, but we have heard that it will be repealed,” Altman said on Wednesday in London, according to Reuters. “They’re still talking about it.”
Lawmakers told Reuters the project was not up for discussion, while Romanian MEP Dragas Tudorake said he “doesn’t see a dilution in the near future.”
Less than 48 hours after his initial comments about the potential shutdown, Altman tweeted about “a very productive week of conversations in Europe about how to best regulate artificial intelligence,” adding that the OpenAI team is “happy to continue working here and certainly have no plans to leave.”
Over the next year, the European Commission and member states will discuss a more recent proposal for an EU AI law, the FT reports.
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