Fasten your seatbelts.

Birthday Party

It should come as no surprise that ChatGPT creator OpenAI held its much-anticipated first developer day yesterday, just a few short weeks ahead of its market-changing AI chatbot's public release anniversary.

The developer show — or DevDay, as OpenAI referred to it — didn't seem to disappoint. As TechCrunch reported yesterday, the Silicon Valley AI darling announced several updates to its product offerings, including Build-a-Bot services, a "turbo" version of GPT-4, and a sweeping "copyright shield" for users of its generative AI products.

In other words, OpenAI ensured that its much-anticipated first DevDay was jam-packed with new features for investors and users alike to seek their teeth into. And yet, according to the ever-optimistic-yet-slightly-alarmist OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, we haven't seen anything yet.

"We hope that you'll come back next year," Altman told the crowd. "What we launch today is going to look very quaint relative to what we're busy creating for you now."

Double Edges

It's a tantalizing claim, given the speed at which we've seen AI develop over the past year.

After all, OpenAI's DevDay doesn't just mark the one-year lap of its chatbot's release into public hands; in a big way, it also represents the first anniversary of the ongoing Silicon Valley arms race — a high-dollar market free-for-all between Silicon Valley stalwarts and newcomers alike that was arguably kicked off by the release of ChatGPT's November 2022 reveal. And between advancements in AI chatbots and their underlying LLMs, to the increasingly convincing realism of AI-generated imagery, to the unsettling uncanniness of improving AI-powered visual and auditory deepfake tools, to President Joe Biden going as far as to pass an executive order on AI, the AI industry has indeed moved quickly over the past year. Heck, even the Pope is worried about the tech.

All to say: Altman's prediction could be a sound one, the fact that the CEO is a noted self-mythologizer notwithstanding. And sure, on the one hand, this prediction could spell some exciting advancements. At the same time, though, with announcements like this, it's worth the reminder that human society has already witnessed some of the predicted negative impacts of generative AI tools — and if the tech improves and expands, the double-edges of the sword only stand to get sharper.

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