Does Altman dream of electric sheep?

AI Accelerationist

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is back at it again, with yet another admission that he's fearful of the artificial intelligence he hath wrought.

During a live panel interview with the Times of India, Altman said that he's been stressed out enough about the release of ChatGPT that he's lost sleep.

"The thing that I lose the most sleep over is that we already have done something really bad," he told reporters. "I don't think we have, but the hypothetical that we, by launching ChatGPT into the world, shot the industry out of a railgun and we now don't get to have much impact anymore."

The CEO went on to add that he is concerned that "there's gonna be an acceleration" in creating new AI systems that could contain complexities that he and his peers didn't understand before launching. Us too, buddy!

He Scared

Altman's insomniac admission is, of course, far from the first time he's confessed anxieties about AI.

For months, the CEO has been making public statements about his fears surrounding the future of AI, from concerns about competitors that may make evil algorithms to his decision to be a signatory on an open letter warning about AI causing an "extinction" event.

So common is his voicing of these apprehensions that he's actually called out people for "dunking" on his misgivings.

"I think it's weird when people think it's like a big dunk that I say, I'm a little bit afraid," Altman told podcaster Lex Fridman earlier this year. "And I think it'd be crazy not to be a little bit afraid, and I empathize with people who are a lot afraid."

Both Sides Now

While it is indeed bizarre that the guy making money hand over fist from AI is scared of it, it is in line with other things we know about Altman — specifically, that he's a doomsday prepper who has bragged about having a stash of guns and gas masks in the event of an AI-driven catastrophe.

Notably, Altman never admits in any of these statements that OpenAI maybe shouldn't have launched ChatGPT, or that the disruptiveness it's already brought may not be a good thing.

Indeed, earlier in the talk, the CEO waxes prolific about the "job change" that his company's chatbot will bring, avoiding the fact that real people are already losing their livelihoods as short-sighted CEOs choose to believe it's better than human labor.

As always, we have to temper our perplexion at Altman's strange AI worries with the friendly reminder that he's a CEO with a product to sell — and even as he admits in bits and pieces that his software is dangerous, business is still booming.

More on Altman: Sam Altman Says OpenAI May Need to Make a "Very Strange Decision" If It Develops AI Superintelligence

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