OpenAI CEO threatens to quit EU over new law that puts AI in 'high risk' zone

OpenAI's skepticism is centred on the EU law's designation of "high risk" AI systems

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman (Photo: Getty Images)
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman (Photo: Getty Images)


Sam Altman has threatened to quit the European Union (EU) if regulators continue with its crucial artificial intelligence (AI) law in its current form.

The law is undergoing revisions and may require large AI models like OpenAI's ChatGPT and GPT-4 to be designated as "high risk", Time reported.

Speaking on the sidelines of a panel discussion at University College London, Altman said they could "cease operating" in the EU if unable to comply with the new AI legislation.

"Either we'll be able to solve those requirements or not. If we can comply, we will, and if we can't, we'll cease operating. We will try. But there are technical limits to what's possible," Altman was quoted as saying.

"We're going to try to comply," he added.

OpenAI's skepticism is centred on the EU law's designation of "high risk" AI systems.

Altman said that he was worried about the risks stemming from AI.

For example, AI-generated disinformation could have an impact on the upcoming 2024 US election, he warned.

However, social media platforms were more important drivers of disinformation than AI language models.

"You can generate all the disinformation you want with GPT-4, but if it's not being spread, it's not going to do much," he was quoted as saying in the report.

Earlier this week, the OpenAI CEO said now is a good time to start thinking about the governance of superintelligence -- future AI systems dramatically more capable than even artificial generative intelligence (AGI).

Altman stressed that the world must mitigate the risks of today's AI technology too, "but superintelligence will require special treatment and coordination".

Last week, Altman admitted that if generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology goes wrong, it can go quite wrong, as US senators expressed their fears about AI chatbots like ChatGPT.

Altman, who testified at a hearing in the US Senate in Washington, DC, said that the AI industry needs to be regulated by the government as AI becomes "increasingly powerful".

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