OpenAI CEO Sam Altman reportedly hinted at making investments in Israel as he backed AI to play a major role in reducing risks facing the country, while continuing a global lobbying effort for government-led regulation to ensure the technology is used responsibility.

Reuters reported Altman is visiting Israel to discuss the threats and opportunities of AI, before meeting with politicians and leaders in Jordan, UAE, India and South Korea,

Altman apparently held similar meetings in Europe and the US in May.

During a meeting with the Israel president Isaac Herzog, Altman tipped the nation to play “a huge role” in the technology, citing a recent study by Stanford University which placed it among the top five countries for significant machine learning systems and concentration of AI skills.

Reuters reported OpenAI-backer Microsoft had issued a statement in Hebrew noting Altman was exploring “various investment options in Israel”.

Altman reportedly also downplayed fears of the impact AI will have on jobs, stating there will always be roles for people despite rising automation.

The executive reportedly pledged to obey regulations placed on AI, though noted he does not support heavy controls with the potential to slow innovation.

The UK, US and Europe are all exploring regulation on AI, following a boom in generative AI led by OpenAI’s ChatGPT platform.

Israel is also exploring new laws, publishing a draft document in October 2022 and collating feedback.