OpenAI, maker of leading generative AI ChatGPT, has launched its first international office in London.

London’s vibrant technology ecosystem and its exceptional talent made it stand out, the San Francisco company says. 

OpenAI says the development showcases its commitment to bring in diverse perspectives and “accelerates its mission of ensuring that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity”.

ChatGPT, a tool which responds to written commands to produce content – from prose to code – has taken the world by storm, opening up basic AI to everyone. However it has also led to concerns over the potential for misuse by bad actors.

“We are thrilled to extend our research and development footprint into London, a city globally renowned for its rich culture and exceptional talent pool,” said Diane Yoon, OpenAI’s VP of people. 

“We are eager to build dynamic teams in research, engineering and go-to-market functions, as well as other areas, to reinforce our efforts in creating and promoting safe AGI.”

The teams in London will focus on advancing OpenAI’s leading-edge research and engineering capabilities while collaborating on our mission with local communities and policy makers.

“We see this expansion as an opportunity to attract world-class talent and drive innovation in AGI development and policy,” adds Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI. 

“We’re excited about what the future holds and to see the contributions our London office will make towards building and deploying safe AI.”

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A recent report from KPMG suggested that the adoption of generative AI could add 1.2% to the level of annual UK productivity – equivalent to £31 billion at current levels – but suggested the wider implications for industry and society are highly uncertain. 

Set against the underlying impacts on employment and productivity, the wider social impacts may warrant a high degree of caution in how regulators and policymakers approach these technologies.

In March the UK government published a whitepaper detailing its plan for AI regulation, which was criticised in some quarters for delegating responsibility to a number of existing bodies rather than proposing new tailored regulations.

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