OpenAI to set up Dublin office before year-end

ChatGPT creator seeking to expand in Europe

Artificial intelligence company OpenAI is to set up its European headquarters in Dublin before the end of the year, as the company seeks to expand in Europe.

The creator of ChatGPT already has an office in London, where it employs 10 people. But chief strategy officer Jason Kwon told The Irish Times that the company needed to have an EU-based office to ensure that they could access talent and support customers that they already had in the region.

“If we want to be a global company, we need to be in Europe,” he said. “It’s largely about first getting to Europe and expanding there. That is that is the primary goal.”

It plans to start off with three people, growing the team before the end of the year. Some senior executive roles are expected to be based at the Dublin office. The “significant milestone” for the company will see the Irish office begin with security engineering, legal, go to market and operations roles, but other functions, such as trust and safety, may follow. Mr Kwon said there were certain types of engineering roles that the company would “probably start to consider” in the future.


The decision to choose Ireland for the new office was down to “a confluence of factors”, he said, including the close work between the private sector, academia, Government and start-ups. OpenAI has already been in contact with youth accelerator Patch, offering access to its technology and mentorship.

“One of the more compelling factors is the talent base and the policies. I think that Ireland has to draw talent from various parts of the world. And there is also a clear national AI strategy to further invest in building infrastructure to have more of that talent to come,” Mr Kwon said. “It’s a good place to start in terms of European expansion and bet on the long run, because just looking at the last 10 years, the country has done a tremendous job.”

OpenAI will also continue to engage with data protection authorities across Europe as generative AI continues to gather pace, bringing security and privacy concerns of its own.

“Certainly GDPR is part of European engagement, because it’s a very important regulation that Europe has, but it’s just part of the picture,” Mr Kwon said. “In terms of the privacy stuff, certainly we’re engaged in discussions with the various regulators. That would happen regardless of whether we’re opening Ireland or not.”

“Ireland blends a talented workforce with support for innovation and responsible business growth. We’re excited for this partnership as we expand in Europe,” said Sam Altman, chief executive of OpenAI.

The decision was welcomed by Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney.

“In order for Ireland to benefit from AI, it is essential to ensure that we have a strong, supportive ecosystem in place and we believe that companies such as OpenAI operating in Ireland can help build on our foundation to support emerging AI research and innovation, and ensure our workforce is well prepared,” he said.

The company is being supported by IDA Ireland. “Ireland is a recognised hub for administrative, regulatory, and innovation activities for the world’s leading digital companies,” said IDA Ireland chief executive Michael Lohan. “OpenAI’s investment confirms this and endorses Ireland’s focus on building a flourishing AI ecosystem.”

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist