PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

Argentina Woos AI Giants as World Steps Up Regulations

Argentina flag

Argentina is reportedly promoting itself as an AI hub amid increased oversight of the technology.

Javier Milei, the country’s new, libertarian leader, has promised a less restrictive approach to artificial intelligence (AI) regulation, an advisor to the president told the Financial Times (FT) in an interview published Tuesday (June 11).

Demian Reidel, who heads Milei’s council of economic advisers and organized the president’s meetings with OpenAIGoogleApple and Meta last month, said investing in Argentina would give companies a “hedge” against rising regulation in Europe and the U.S.

“Argentina has a president who is actually putting forth the ideas of freedom, low regulation, free enterprise, and he has captured the imagination of the tech world,” Reidel said. “All the stars have aligned for us to be perhaps the world’s fourth AI hub.”

The country could use a boost, battling a major economic crisis that has driven inflation to 289%. As the FT notes, Milei’s government hasn’t yet passed any laws to attract investment, but he has gotten the notice of tech moguls for his criticism of western leaders.

Last mother, Milei and Reidel held private meetings in California with CEOs including Sam Altman and Apple’s Tim Cook, as well as with a group of AI investors and experts. Mieli has also held two meetings with Elon Musk, the FT report adds.

“People don’t realize that if all these people want to meet with us . . . it’s not for a photo op,” Reidel said. “It’s a mutual interest, in terms of [investment] and what we will give them in terms of regulation and a business friendly place to operate.”

This is happening as the regulatory climate around AI is growing cooler in the U.S., with reports last week that the Justice Department (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had reached an agreement that lets them proceed with investigations into the dominant roles OpenAI, Microsoft and Nvidia play in the AI space.

The DOJ is apparently examining whether chipmaker Nvidia — now a $3 trillion company —  has broken antitrust laws with its behavior, while the FTC will focus on OpenAI and Microsoft, having reportedly already subpoenaed the latter company in connection with its recent deal with AI firm Inflection AI.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury Department said last week it wanted comments from the public about AI use in financial services.

The department says it wants to learn how the technology is being used in that sector, the risks and opportunities it offers, and the obstacles hindering responsible AI use.

For all PYMNTS AI coverage, subscribe to the daily AI Newsletter.