The CEO of OpenAI shared a more optimistic note this week about the potential of his company’s artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot technology.
- The launch of OpenAI’s ChapGPT on November 30 has proven the technology to be one of the most versatile and concerning technological developments in decades, with the possibility of entire career paths being destroyed by AI.
- OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has a more optimistic view, noting in a Monday tweet that AI will become a significant force for economic growth and wealth generation.
- ChapGPT has proven its capabilities already, having accrued more than 100 million subscribers in just two months, and proven it can pass university-level exams, imitate poetry, and handle business writing tasks.
Why It’s Important
Not everyone shares this optimistic point of view, and even Altman has gone on the record saying that the “worst-case scenario is lights-out for all of us.” Tech and Silicon Valley leading voices, such as Elon Musk, have long warned of the dangers of the technology.
“AI could also be the greatest force for global disenfranchisement in our lifetimes. Massive and sudden human obsolescence, for example. It could go either way,” tech analyst Olivier Blanchard tells Fortune.
“I tried to convince people to slow down AI, to regulate AI. This was futile,” warns Elon Musk in a 2017 Joe Rogan Experience episode.
“I think the good case is just so unbelievably good that you sound like a crazy person talking about it,” says Altman.
Backing Up A Bit
OpenAI first opened in 2015 with the backing of billionaires Elon Musk and Peter Thiel, and worked to develop its own proprietary artificial intelligence chatbot. The current version of GPT3 became publicly available in late November and officially launched a monthly subscription service on February 2.
Microsoft invested $10 billion into OpenAI last month to integrate the technology into its Bing search engine and customer service features, sparking the AI arms race in the process. Google rushed out its alternative Bard in the following weeks, and other companies, such as the Chinese Baidu, are preparing to launch AIs.
The escalating rush to push AI onto the market has created numerous critics and safety concerns, with Microsoft President Brad Smith publicly outlining safety and ethics recommendations for the industry in a recent blog post as concerns continue to arise. Other leading tech figures such as Google SVP Prabhakar Raghavan, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and entrepreneur Mark Cuban have laid out similar concerns.