OpenAI Co-Founder Sam Altman Doesn't See Artificial Intelligence Ending Google, Discusses Microsoft Partnership And More

Zinger Key Points
  • The rise of OpenAI and ChatGPT has been a big storyline in 2023.
  • OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman shares thoughts on what could be ahead for artificial intelligence.

One of the hottest topics of 2023 is likely to be artificial intelligence and the company OpenAI, which is leading the charge.

A recent interview from OpenAI co-founder and CEO Sam Altman could provide some answers to the direction OpenAI is headed and what its relationship with Microsoft Corp MSFT means.

What Happened: OpenAI is the parent company of ChatGPT, a chatbot that uses artificial intelligence to answer questions. The technology is being experimented with by many, including actor Ryan Reynolds to create a commercial.

The technology and use cases of OpenAI have also attracted the attention of Microsoft, which is looking to invest $10 billion in the company and help use it to power its Bing search engine to take on search leader Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc GOOGGOOGL.

Microsoft invested $1 billion in OpenAI in 2019 and has maintained a relationship with the company since.

In an interview with TechCrunch, Altman said the current deal with Microsoft is non-exclusive.

Altman went a step further and said that OpenAI can build its own software products and services along with licensing out its technology.

There have been rumblings of OpenAI competing with Google’s search engine.

“Whenever someone talks about a technology being the end of some other giant company, it’s usually wrong,” Altman said. “People forget they get to make a counter move here, and they’re pretty smart, pretty competent.”

Altman said the technology of artificial intelligence is coming and people need to figure out how to live with it. Altman said teachers and parents may be reluctant to accept AI technology from companies such as OpenAI.

“There are societal changes that ChatGPT is going to cause or is causing. A big one going on now is about its impact on education and academic integrity, all of that.”

Altman adds that OpenAI could experiment by adding watermark technologies and verification efforts to help determine if AI copy was used for schoolwork.

“There may be ways we can help teachers be a bit more likely to detect output of a GPT-like system, but honestly, a determined person is going to get around them, and I don’t think it’ll be something society can or should rely on long term.”

Related Link: Mark Cuban, Dogecoin Co-Creator Weigh In On AI: Shoud Youngsters Be Worried About Losing Jobs? 

Why It’s Important: The use cases for OpenAI and ChatGPT continue to evolve and also have some, such as schools, looking to ban them to protect the integrity of learning.

Others see the use of AI for questions and answers as similar to the use of calculators for math problems, serving as a tool.

Altman said people can be slow to adapt to major shifts.

“(Calculators) changed what we test for in math classes,” Altman said.

Altman also argued that the emergence of Google made memorizing facts less important.

“We hear from teachers who are understandably very nervous about the impact of this on homework. We also hear a lot from teachers who are like, ‘Wow, this is an unbelievable personal tutor for each kid.’”

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is among those interested in using AI in the future. Gates hinted during an ask me anything session on Reddit that AI tech such as OpenAI which is emerging today is similar to a revolutionary shift in technology that happened with the emergence of the internet.

“AI is the big one. I don’t think Web3 was that big or that metaverse stuff along was revolutionary but AI is quite revolutionary,” Gates said, responding to shifts in technology.

In the interview, Altman confirms a video model of DALL-E, a digital art generator, is in the works.

Altman declined to say when the video model would be released but said “it could be pretty soon.”

The fourth version of GPT from OpenAI, which powers ChatGPT is also highly anticipated. Altman added that there is no release date planned and it will be released when the company is confident it will be released “safely and responsibly.”

Altman said that GPT-4 does not have AGI, or artificial general intelligence.

“I think (AGI) is sort of what is expected of us,” he noted.

Altman said GPT-4 could disappoint people that have that presumption.

Altman also said he doesn’t see the shift to AGI being as quick as some anticipate.

“The closer we get (to AGI), the harder time I have answering because I think that it’s going to be much blurrier and much more of a gradual transition than people think.”

Read Next: Microsoft Office Users Could Soon Be Getting ChatGPT Integration To Help With Homework And Work Email 

Photo: The Grove via Flickr Creative Commons

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