The creator of the ultra powerful AI chat bot ChatGPT has warned of “scary moments” and “significant disruptions” as artificial intelligence developers rush to create human-level systems.
OpenAI co-founder and CEO Sam Altman said artificial general intelligence (AGI) will be the next major technological breakthrough, offering “amazing” upsides but also major challenges.
ChatGPT earned headlines this month for its “mind-blowing” ability to generate human-like responses to a wide range of queries. AI researchers praised the general purpose language model as a huge advancement, with some speculating that it could revolutionise entire industries and even replace popular tools like Google’s search engine.
Mr Altman said ChatGPT “is going to get a lot better, less annoying, and more useful fast”, but said the arrival of AGI will completely dwarf it.
“There will be scary moments as we move towards AGI-level systems, and significant disruptions, but the upsides can be so amazing that it’s well worth overcoming the great challenges to get there,” he wrote in a Twitter thread on Monday.
“And we’ll see great benefits all along the way – they will make ChatGPT look like a boring toy. In particular, there are going to be significant problems with the use of OpenAI tech over time; we will do our best but will not successfully anticipate every issue.”
Mr Altman’s decision to make ChatGPT public was contrary to the policy of other companies building advanced AI chatbots, including Google and Microsoft. Both tech giants have warned of the dangers of releasing such technology on a wide scale, citing risks relating to inbuilt biases and misinformation.
The arrival of AGI has also raised fears among technologists and prominent industry figures, including OpenAI co-founder Elon Musk, who claimed in 2018 that “AI is far more dangerous than nukes”.
there will be scary moments as we move towards AGI-level systems, and significant disruptions, but the upsides can be so amazing that it’s well worth overcoming the great challenges to get there.
— Sam Altman (@sama) December 26, 2022
Mr Altman has previously claimed that AGI will be necessary for humanity “to fully understand the universe”, in a similar way to needing a telescope to understand galaxies.
“We will run a very tight feedback loop for improvement, and try to make our mistakes while the stakes are low,” Mr Altman wrote in his latest Twitter thread.
“But it’s impossible to get this right with no contact with reality. We are learning so much from ChatGPT; it’s going to get a lot better, less annoying, and more useful fast.”
OpenAI is expected to unveil the successor to ChatGPT, called GPT-4, in early 2023.