Dec 10, 2022

Is ChatGPT a ‘virus that has been released into the wild’?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, Elon Musk, robotics/AI

More than three years ago, this editor sat down with Sam Altman for a small event in San Francisco soon after he’d left his role as the president of Y Combinator to become CEO of the AI company he co-founded in 2015 with Elon Musk and others, OpenAI.

At the time, Altman described OpenAI’s potential in language that sounded outlandish to some. Altman said, for example, that the opportunity with artificial general intelligence — machine intelligence that can solve problems as well as a human — is so great that if OpenAI managed to crack it, the outfit could “maybe capture the light cone of all future value in the universe.” He said that the company was “going to have to not release research” because it was so powerful. Asked if OpenAI was guilty of fear-mongering — Musk has repeatedly called all organizations developing AI to be regulated — Altman talked about the dangers of not thinking about “societal consequences” when “you’re building something on an exponential curve.”

The audience laughed at various points of the conversation, not certain how seriously to take Altman. No one is laughing now, however. While machines are not yet as intelligent as people, the tech that OpenAI has since released is taking many aback (including Musk), with some critics fearful that it could be our undoing, especially with more sophisticated tech reportedly coming soon.

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