ChatGPT creator OpenAI asked EU for weaker AI regulations

Joel Loynds
Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI in front of OpenAI logo and EU FlagGetty/OpenAI

OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT and DALL-E, has been lobbying the EU to reduce regulations for AI. This is all despite the fact that CEO Sam Altman has been talking about stricter rules for months.

The EU is currently in the midst of bringing in the AI Act, a rigorous set of rules intended to protect citizens from the ongoing advancements of AI. In a new report, Time has revealed that OpenAI has in fact been lobbying the EU to reduce particular sections of the AI Act before it is brought into law.

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Despite the lobbying, OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, has routinely talked about bringing in further regulations for the booming AI industry. Most recently, he and many others signed an open letter against the development of AI that could create a “risk of extinction”.

He has also posted a blog and hosted talks about how AI needs stricter regulations.

In recent weeks, regardless of Altman’s staunch position for regulatory bodies to be set up, he has said that OpenAI could cease to operate in the EU if the law were passed.

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OpenAI now stands with Microsoft and Google, who want the EU to bring in laxer rules for large-scale AI providers. Time has published a seven-page white paper that was submitted in 2022, in which OpenAI asks the EU to remove certain language that could list ChatGPT and other software it provides as a high risk.

As pointed out in the report, the lobbying appears to be a success, as OpenAI’s requests appear to have influenced the final draft of the law. This includes removing language that could have irreparably done damage to how OpenAI operates.

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OpenAI might get its way after lobbying the EU on regulations

OpenAI logo on purple backgroundOpenAI

However, Sarah Chander, senior policy advisor at European Digital Rights, told Time that OpenAI had got what “they asked for”:

“OpenAI, like many Big Tech companies, have used the argument of utility and public benefit of AI to mask their financial interest in watering down the regulation.”

A large portion of the EU‘s AI Act is to add layers of protection for citizens. This includes ensuring that safety is prioritized, but as previously reported, this can be easily circumvented via “jailbreaks”. However, if the EU passes a law, it often takes hold worldwide due to the large customer base within it.

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Italy, while it currently has it unbanned, was one of the first EU countries to ban the use of ChatGPT entirely, claiming that OpenAI was in breach of privacy laws in the country.

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