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OpenAI says it could ‘cease operating’ in the EU if it can’t comply with future regulation

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has warned that the company may withdraw its services from the European market in response to AI regulation being developed by the European Union.

Speaking to reporters after a talk in London, Altman said he has “a number of concerns” about the EU AI Act, which is currently being finalized by lawmakers. The terms of the act have been expanded in recent months to include new obligations for makers of so-called “foundation models” — the large-scale AI systems that power services such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and DAL-e.

“The details really matter,” Altman said, according to a report. The Financial Times, “We will endeavor to comply, but if we cannot comply we will cease operations.”

In comments reported by TimeAltman said the concern was that systems like ChatGPT would be designated as “high risk” under EU law. This means that OpenAI must meet a number of security and transparency requirements. “Either we’re going to be able to address those needs or we don’t,” Altman said. ,[T]There are technical limits to what’s possible here.

In addition to technical challenges, the disclosures required under the EU AI Act also present potential business threats to OpenAI. A provision in the current draft requires creators of foundational models to disclose details of their system’s design (including “computing power requirements, training time, and other relevant information related to model size and power”) and ” Provide a summary of copyright data”. is used for training. ,

OpenAI used to share this kind of information but stopped as its tools became increasingly commercially valuable. In March, Ilya Sutskever, co-founder of Open AI, told ledge that the company has been wrong to disclose so much in the past, and that keeping information such as training methods and data sources secret was necessary to prevent competitors from copying its work.

In addition to the potential business threat, forcing OpenAI to identify its use of copyrighted data would expose the company to potential lawsuits. Generative AI systems such as ChatGPT and DAL-E are trained using large amounts of data scraped from the web, much of it copyright protected. When companies disclose these data sources, it leaves them open to legal challenges. OpenAI rival Sustainability AI, for example, is currently being sued by stock image maker Getty Images for using its copyrighted data to train its AI image generator.

Altman’s recent comments help fill in a more nuanced picture of the company’s willingness to be regulated. Altman has told US politicians that regulation should apply to more powerful AI systems in the future. In contrast, the EU AI Act focuses more on the current capabilities of AI software.

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