OpenAI has no plans to leave Europe, CEO Sam Altman said on Friday (May 26), reversing a threat made earlier this week to leave the region if it becomes too hard to comply with upcoming laws on artificial intelligence.
"We are excited to continue to operate here and of course have no plans to leave," he said in a tweet.
The EU is working on what could be the first set of rules globally to govern AI and Altman on Wednesday said the current draft of the EU AI Act was "over-regulating".
Altman's threat of quitting Europe had drawn criticism from EU industry chief Thierry Breton and a host of other lawmakers.
Altman has spent the past week crisscrossing Europe, meeting top politicians in France, Spain, Poland, Germany and the UK to discuss the future of AI, and progress of ChatGPT.
He called his tour a "very productive week of conversations in Europe about how to best regulate AI!"
AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT, backed by Microsoft, has created new possibilities around AI and fears around its potential have provoked excitement and alarm – and brought it into conflict with regulators.
OpenAI first clashed with regulators in March, when Italian data regulator Garante shut the app down domestically, accusing OpenAI of flouting European privacy rules. ChatGPT came back online after the company instituted new privacy measures for users.
OpenAI on Thursday said it will award 10 equal grants from a fund of US$1 million for experiments to determine how AI software should be governed and Altman called those grants as "how to democratically decide on the behaviour of AI systems".