It's only a matter of time.
Grand Theft AI 5
Earlier this month, ChatGPT maker OpenAI announced a new version of its large language model called GPT-4 Turbo, a sped-up and slightly more cost-effective followup to the company's blockbuster GPT-4.
Underwhelmed? Fair. But right on its heels, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman also revealed in an interview with the Financial Times this week that something potentially far more transformative is in the works as well: GPT-5.
The ever-coy Altman characteristically stopped short of revealing any actual details about his company's next-generation AI model, nevermind committing to a timeline. But still, the FT reported that the "company is also working on GPT-5, the next generation of its AI model."
Altman admitted that he still has no idea what it'll end up actually being capable of, implying that development is still in an early stage.
"Until we go train that model, it’s like a fun guessing game for us," he told the FT. "We’re trying to get better at it, because I think it’s important from a safety perspective to predict the capabilities."
"But I can’t tell you here’s exactly what it’s going to do that GPT-4 didn't," he added.
While GPT-4 has quickly become a popular large language model since its March release, it still has some glaring flaws that undercut its actual usefulness. For one, it still has a tendency to make up facts.
It can also easily be used to generate huge amounts of misinformation. OpenAI has also failed to implement meaningful and effective guardrails so far to stop that from happening, allowing anybody to jailbreak the AI model with ease.
Then there's the astronomical amount of money that's required to keep tools like ChatGPT that rely on GPT-4 and its predecessors running.
Whether the company will manage to address these issues with GPT-5 remains to be seen. Altman's comments suggest the company hasn't started training the model yet, but that doesn't mean OpenAI isn't already assembling the data it needs to do so.
All eyes are on OpenAI right now, and expectations couldn't be higher. A meaningful successor to GPT-4 could have some massive implications for society and industries in the AI race.
To deliver on all those expectations will require some major leaps — and judging by Altman's latest comments, we just might be waiting a while.
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