Sam Altman’s turbulent relationship with European Regulators have taken two more steps. The OpenAI CEO is reportedly ready for further talks with the EU – and a new headquarters on the continent.
Altman recently caused an uproar after criticizing the EU AI law. The 38-year-old threatened to shut down OpenAI services over plans for the landmark law that would force his company to comply with additional obligations.
After a fierce backlash from lawmakers, Altman made a quick about-face. The ChatGPT maker is “excited to continue operating here,” he tweeted, and has “no plans to leave the company.”
In an interview with Politico, the charm offensive continued. “We really need an office in Europe,” Altman told the outlet. “We really want one too.”
No matter what he wants, the need is clear. Once the AI law is passed, OpenAI will require a presence in the EU. However, there are still opportunities to amend the regulation before it is final.
With that in mind, two new additions to Altman’s calendar could prove significant.
The first is planned for this Thursday when he will meet EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels. The second is reportedly set to take place next month, when Altman and EU industry chief Thierry Breton will discuss compliance with the union’s forthcoming rules.
Whatever the outcome, OpenAI’s explosive rise shows no signs of slowing down. New research from Veza Digital found that visits to openai.com rose 54.21% in March to nearly 1 billion monthly users – the biggest jump among the world’s top 50 websites. Within just two months, the website climbed 33 places in the global ranking.
As for the company’s presence in Europe, Altman said he would choose France if the choice was based solely on talent in AI research. But he added that he “was totally impressed by the talent and energy everywhere.” The next test of his flattery will be to impress EU lawmakers.