Report: OpenAI Lobbied for Amendments to EU’s AI Act

OpenAI reportedly lobbied for — and got — changes to the European Union’s artificial intelligence (AI) legislation.

The ChatGPT creator succeeded in its efforts to alter “significant elements” of the AI Act and reduce the regulatory burdens the company would have faced, Time reported Tuesday (June 20), citing documents obtained from the European Commission after making freedom of information requests.

Several amendments that OpenAI had proposed are included in the final text of the law that was approved by the European Parliament June 14 and is expected to be finalized as soon as January, according to the report.

Open AI did not immediately reply to PYMNTS’ request for comment.

In a statement provided to Time, the company said: “At the request of policymakers in the EU, in September 2022 we provided an overview of our approach to deploying systems like GPT-3 safely and commented on the then-draft of the [AI Act] based on that experience. Since then, the [AI Act] has evolved substantially, and we’ve spoken publicly about the technology’s advancing capabilities and adoption. We continue to engage with policymakers and support the EU’s goal of ensuring AI tools are built, deployed and used safely now and in the future.”

In one example of OpenAI’s lobbying for amendments to the legislation, the company successfully argued that its general-purpose AI systems should not be included in the “high risk” category of use cases, which are subject to stringent legal requirements, the report said.

OpenAI also supported creating a separate category for “foundation models” and applying fewer requirements to that category, and that change was made late in the process of developing the legislation, per the report.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman told Reuters on May 24 that the company might leave Europe if the AI Act overregulated AI technology.

Two days later, after a series of meetings with European leaders, Altman tweeted that OpenAI planned to continue operating in Europe.

“Very productive week of conversations in Europe about how to best regulate AI!” Altman said in his May 26 tweet. “We are excited to continue to operate here and of course have no plans to leave.”