OpenAI, the US company behind ChatGPT, has selected London for its first international office outside of the United States. Having received multibillion-dollar backing from Microsoft, OpenAI said the focus of its London office would be on research and engineering.
The announcement comes days after UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s speech at London Tech Week, stating, “If our goal is to make this country the best place in the world for tech, AI is surely one of the greatest opportunities before us.” Mr. Sunak wants the UK to be an AI technology superpower, with London as home to a global body tasked with legislating AI.
The UK boasts a number of AI companies, including Google’s DeepMind, data analytics giant Palantir, Thought Machine, Infogrid, Builder.ai, Quantexa, OneTrust, Darktrace, and Wayve.
Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, stated, “We see this expansion as an opportunity to attract world-class talent and drive innovation in AGI (artificial general intelligence) development and policy.”
According to Bloomberg, OpenAI had been considering Poland or France for its first international office. However, its decision to go with London is seen as “another vote of confidence for Britain as an AI powerhouse,” as per Chloe Smith, UK Secretary for Science, Innovation, and Technology.
“We’re 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.
While no details have been provided on when the office would open or how many people would be employed, they have posted four role openings, including a solution architect and security engineer.