Sam Altman shares his optimistic view on the future of our AI

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has been touring Europe over the past few days, meeting with heads of government and the startup community to talk about AI regulation and more. In his last appearance on stage in Station F in Paris, Altman answered questions from local entrepreneurs and shared his views on artificial intelligence.

A few days ago Altman met with Emmanuel Macron. Station F director Roxana Varza first asked him about the content of the conversation. As expected, much of the discussion revolved around regulation. “It was great, we talked about how to find the right balance between protecting with this technology and letting it thrive,” Altman said.

He then explained why he traveled from one country to another at a frantic pace. “The reason for this trip is to get out of the Bay Area tech bubble,” he said.

Altman then listed some of the reasons why he is excited about the current state of artificial intelligence. AI has a moment, he says, because it’s pretty good at a lot of different things, not just one. For example, AI could be especially useful when it comes to education, and we could be on the cusp of major changes in education around the world.

Of course, he also mentioned how GPT and other AI models have been useful for improving productivity in a wide variety of areas, including software development.

The discussion then turned to regulation. A couple of days ago, at a similar event at University College London, Altman warned that exceeding European law could lead to OpenAI. leave the continent altogether. Although he has already given up on Twitter, speaking that “we are happy to continue working here and, of course, we are not going to leave,” he explained his opinion.

“We plan to comply, we really like Europe and we want to offer our services in Europe, but we just want to make sure that we are technically able to do it,” Altman said.

In this Q&A session, Altman came out as a radical optimist, stating that in the near future there will be some major technological breakthroughs (in particular in the field of nuclear fusion) that will solve the problem of climate change. Similarly, he asked difficult questions to the audience, but he still believes that the benefits of artificial intelligence far outweigh the drawbacks.

“The discussion was too focused on the negatives,” Altman said. “It looks like the balance has been thrown, given all the value people get from these tools these days.”

He again asked for a “global regulatory framework” similar to nuclear or biotechnology. “I think it will come to a good place. I think it’s important that we do this. The clarity of regulation is good,” he said.

Image Credits: Romain Dillet/WND

Competition and Model Improvement

What’s next for OpenAI? The roadmap is pretty simple. Altman says the team is working on “better, smarter, cheaper, faster and more functional models.”

The success of OpenAI and ChatGPT has also led to increased competition. There are other AI companies and labs working on large language models and generative AI in general. But Altman sees competition as a blessing.

“People competing with each other to create better and better models is great,” he said. “As long as we don’t compete in a way that compromises safety – as long as we compete for models by raising the bar for safety – I think that’s a good thing.”

In fact, there won’t be one model to rule them all. Some models will become more specialized. Some models will perform better on some tasks than others. “There will be a lot of models in the world. I think the trajectory we’re on is that this is going to be a fundamental advantage of the technology,” Altman said.

AI as a tool for human improvement

In many ways, Altman sees AI as a tool that people can use to create new things, unlock potential, and change the way we should think about specific problems. For example, he does not believe that AI poses a threat to employment.

“The idea that artificial intelligence would evolve to the point that humans would have no job or purpose never resonated with me,” Altman said. “There will be people who decide not to work, and I think that’s great. I think this should be the right choice and there are many other ways to find meaning in life. But I’ve never seen conclusive evidence that we work less with better tools.”

For example, speaking about journalism, Altman says that AI can help journalists focus on what they do best: doing more research and finding new information worth sharing. “What if each of your journalists had a team of 100 people working for them in different areas?” He said.

And this is perhaps the most dizzying effect of the current wave of AI. According to Altman, artificial intelligence will adapt to human needs, and people will adapt to what artificial intelligence can do. “This technology and society will develop together. People will use it in different ways and for different reasons,” Altman said.

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