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Israel: major CEO refuses to sit with Netanyahu in protest at judicial overhaul

June 5, 2023 at 11:46 am

People gather to stage a protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government’s regulations restricting the powers of the judiciary in Caesarea, Israel on June 03, 2023. [Samir Abd Al Hade – Anadolu Agency]

The CEO of Open AI, the company behind the popular ChatGPT bot, has refused to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his far-right government’s planned judicial overhaul, local media revealed on Sunday.

Sam Altman is visiting Israel and is expected to meet with President Isaac Herzog and employees of Microsoft Israel, Calcalist Tech has reported. “There were attempts to arrange a meeting between Altman and the prime minister, but it is believed that Altman is not interested in meeting with Netanyahu,” the outlet explained. This is “partly due to the political situation and the PM’s status as a controversial figure in the high-tech industry.”

According to Netanyahu’s office, “There was never a meeting request from the PM.” However, Ynet news and Channel 12 insisted that Netanyahu’s office did try to coordinate a meeting with Altman.

Jewish American Altman will also take part in an event at Tel Aviv University during his stay in Israel.

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