“OpenAI Faces Potential EU Shutdown Due to Compliance Issues with Pending Regulations”

OpenAI CEO Warns of Potential Withdrawal from European Market Due to AI Regulations

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman recently stated that the company may withdraw its services from the European market in response to the AI regulation being developed by the EU. In a talk in London, Altman expressed his concerns about the EU AI Act, which includes new obligations for makers of large-scale AI systems known as “foundation models.” OpenAI’s ChatGPT and DALL-E are powered by these foundation models. Altman said that while the company would try to comply with the regulation, it would cease operating in Europe if it could not.

Potential Technical and Business Challenges

Designated as “high risk” under the EU legislation, systems like ChatGPT would need to meet a number of safety and transparency requirements. OpenAI would have to disclose details about the system’s design, computing power required, training time, and other relevant information related to the size and power of the model. The EU AI Act also requires foundation model creators to provide summaries of copyrighted data used for training. OpenAI used to share this sort of information, but has stopped due to their growing commercial value. Altman mentioned that there are technical limits to what is possible, as well as the potential business threats and requirement for disclosure of OpenAI’s use of copyrighted data.

Exposure to Possible Legal Challenges

Forcing OpenAI to identify its use of copyrighted data would expose the company to potential lawsuits. Generative AI systems like ChatGPT and DALL-E are trained using large amounts of data scraped from the web, much of which is copyright protected. When companies disclose these data sources, they become vulnerable to legal challenges. OpenAI’s rival Stability AI is currently being sued by stock image maker Getty Images for using its copyrighted data to train its AI image generator.

Altman’s Thoughts on Regulation

Altman has told US politicians that regulation should mostly apply to future, more powerful AI systems. The EU AI Act, on the other hand, is much more focused on the current capabilities of AI software. The recent comments from Altman help provide a more nuanced picture of the company’s desire for regulation.


OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has expressed concerns about the EU AI Act, stating that the company may cease operating in Europe if it cannot comply with the new obligations for makers of foundation models. Technical, business, and legal challenges are some of the reasons for this stance. Altman has also highlighted the differences between the company’s desires for future AI regulation and the current focus of the EU AI Act.

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