OpenAI boss Sam Altman says there are 'no plans' to pull ChatGPT from Europe even if new rules curb its use

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  • OpenAI CEO Sam Altman isn't ready to leave Europe just yet.

  • The ChatGPT boss claims he has no plans to stop operating there after a week meeting with leaders.

  • The comments come despite Altman raising serious concerns about the EU's proposed AI Act.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has said he has "no plans" to pull ChatGPT out of Europe, despite warning that proposed EU rules to govern AI could backfire.

The OpenAI chief tweeted on Friday that he is keen to keep the chatbot available in Europe after spending the past week meeting several political leaders across the continent including UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to discuss the impact of AI on society.

"Very productive week of conversations in Europe about how to best regulate AI!" Altman tweeted. "We are excited to continue to operate here and of course have no plans to leave."

Altman's comments follow his earlier remarks this week suggesting that ChatGPT could be snatched away from Europeans over concerns that the EU's proposed law on AI — known as the AI Act — could stifle the potential and reach of the popular generative AI chatbot.

Altman claimed on Thursday that his company "will try to comply" with rules issued by the bloc, but would "cease operating" if it found it can't, according to the Financial Times. "The details really matter," he said.

ChatGPT was temporarily suspended in Italy after regulators raised concerns that the bot used individuals' personal data, contravening Europe's strict privacy rules.

Lawmakers have become increasingly vocal about their concerns around AI since the release of ChatGPT in November. Fears around AI's potential to displace jobs and fuel the spread of misinformation have led to calls for a rulebook to be established that governs AI's use.

One of Altman's chief concerns with the EU's incoming rules centers on its definition of "high risk" systems, Time reported, as the current proposal could impact ChatGPT. AI systems that "influence voters in political campaigns" would be labeled high-risk AI tools, per the EU.

Altman did acknowledge the potential for AI tools like ChatGPT to have an undue influence on elections after making his first appearance before Congress to discuss the potential harms of AI systems.

"Outsiders will use them to affect our elections, insiders to manipulate our markets and our political systems. Democracy itself is threatened," he said.

OpenAI, which is heavily backed by Microsoft, released ChatGPT to to the public in November 2022, and the app became the fastest-growing internet app in history, netting an estimated 100 million monthly users by January. Its immediate popularity has fueled massive consumer and investor interest in generative AI, as well as concerns from international lawmakers about the technology's potential impact on jobs, elections, and the media.

OpenAI did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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