CEO of OpenAI: AI works fine… for now
The CEO of OpenAI has admitted that he is surprised by how well the technology works, especially in the face of extreme excitement and hype.
Speaking at Dreamforce 2023, Salesforce CEO Sam Altman and Marc Benioff discussed a host of AI topics, but the OpenAI founder admitted he’s experienced some pleasant shocks about how his company’s work is performing.
“The biggest surprise is that it all works,” Altman said, drawing laughter from Benioff and the audience. “We want to have the smartest, most capable and most customizable models available.”
Altman further admitted that the surge of interest in AI has also surprised him, especially given the breadth of use cases seen so far.
“The enthusiasm, hope and excitement around the world, of course coupled with wanting to successfully address the downsides (of AI), is truly extraordinary to see,” he noted.
“I thought maybe this was just a Silicon Valley tech phenomenon, but it was really cool to see what everyone around the world is doing with technology, and how they have integrated it into their lives.”
After being quizzed by Benioff about his favorite AI-themed science fiction film (Herin which Joaquin Phoenix’s character falls in love with a virtual girlfriend), Altman seemed to suggest that he believed some form of a new governing body to monitor AI might be necessary
There is, he noted, the possibility of having to create a framework that can “address the short- and long-term challenges” that AI poses. – I think it would be great.
He also admitted that he expected AI-induced problems with the surveillance state to lead to an increase in surveillance in the near future – and didn’t think he could provide a solution yet.
“I don’t see a world where, if AI is as powerful as we think it is, and people can do significant harm with it, I can’t see a world where we don’t have less oversight,” Altman said. I don’t think that’s a good thing.”
But overall, OpenAI’s CEO did say he was hopeful that the tremendous progress AI has already made can continue in the future.
“We are empiricists; we know we are going to be surprised,” Altman noted. “We’re never surprised; we just try to meet reality where it is and follow the technology where it can go.”
“I have no illusions that anything will protect us or anyone if AI goes wrong,” he added. “I think it’s silly for people to assume that’s what it’s for. It was like a childhood dream that stuck.”