The boss of OpenAI, the American Sam Altman, creator of ChatGPT, assured on Twitter Friday that he did not intend to stop operating in Europe, after having threatened on Wednesday to leave the EU if the regulation there became too restrictive. . “Very productive week of conversations in Europe on how best to regulate AI! We are delighted to continue operating here and of course have no intention of leaving,” he tweeted. Then, during a conference in Paris on Friday, he explained that he had discussed with President Macron on Tuesday how to find “the right balance between protection and positive impact” of this technology.
On Wednesday in London, the tenth leg of his tour of five continents, Sam Altman warned that OpenAI could "stop operating" in the European Union if the future European regulation (IA Act), currently being drawn up, imposed too many constraints. “We will try (to comply) but there are technical limits to what is possible,” he told the British press.
His statement sparked the anger of European Commissioner Thierry Breton on Thursday. “There is no point in trying to blackmail by claiming that by developing a clear framework, Europe is delaying the deployment of generative AI. On the contrary ! With the "IA Pact" (which must precede a European regulation on AI, editor's note) that I proposed, we aim to help companies in their preparation," he tweeted, accompanying his message with a image with the words "is this a threat?".
On the stage of Station F in Paris this Friday, where he was preceded by the Minister Delegate for Digital Jean-Noël Barrot, Sam Altman tried to play the appeasement, praising the reception of France: "France has was a very interesting case, much more advanced in this technology and in its adoption than other countries. And the engineering talents are very aggressive,” he said, in front of an audience including many representatives of start-ups.
Paris is one of the stages of the five-continent tour of the creator of ChatGPT, who travels the world to reassure about AI and prevent overly restrictive regulation. While emphasizing the benefits of AI for science and progress, he says he is in favor of global regulation of a technology which can, he repeated in Paris, “do a lot” of harm. But he also told US senators in mid-May that regulation should not slow down the US AI industry in the face of China. OpenAI's generative AIs, ChatGPT for text and Dall-E for images, which opened to the general public in late 2022 with dazzling success and in a legal vacuum, have triggered an avalanche of fears, including misinformation, destruction of jobs and looting of works.