OpenAI’s Sam Altman to visit Tel Aviv next week as part of worldwide AI tour

Co-founder and CEO of artificial intelligence lab is expected to visit a Microsoft Israel R&D center and take part in Tel Aviv University event

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman speaks during a keynote address announcing ChatGPT integration for Bing at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington, on February 7, 2023. (Jason Redmond / AFP)

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is expected to arrive to Tel Aviv next week as part of a worldwide tour to meet with artificial intelligence users and developers as well as policymakers.

During his visit to Israel first announced in March, Altman is set to pay a visit to Microsoft Israel’s research & development center and take part in an event at Tel Aviv University. No further details have been disclosed about the meetings during his stay in the country.

Microsoft has invested billions of dollars into OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT, the viral chatbot released late last year that mimics human writing. The tool is based on a so-called large language model trained with text data to answer questions, or prompts, as a human would.

As part of the OpenAI world tour started a few weeks ago, Altman already visited Toronto, Washington DC, Rio de Janeiro, Lagos, and Lisbon. Last week, the Jewish-born tech founder met with entrepreneurs and policymakers in Madrid, Warsaw, Paris, London, and Munich. Following his visit to Tel Aviv, he is to travel to Dubai, New Delhi, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul, Tokyo, and Melbourne.

Co-founded by Altman in 2015 and tech billionaire Elon Musk, OpenAI was set up as non-profit research and development lab with a mission to ensure that AI benefits all of humanity.

“AI is the most amazing tool yet created, and this is a special moment,” Altman tweeted. “It is remarkable to see what people around the world are doing with it; the creative force being unleashed onto the world will lead to wonderful things getting built for all of us.”

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that it was backing OpenAI and in recent weeks the US tech giant has started integrating ChatGPT features into its products including the Teams platform and the Bing search engine. It is also expected to adapt the app to its Office suite.

Microsoft currently operates a number of development centers in Israel including in Herzliya, Haifa, Tel Aviv, and Nazareth. The tech giant employs more than 2,000 people in Israel, working mostly in R&D on projects including cybersecurity, AI technologies, big data and healthcare.

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