A couple of weeks ago, along with 2,000 others went to a "small" fireside chat with Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI - creators of ChatGPT. Here are the key points I took away from the session.
1. There are many unknowns. His world tour aimed to try and understand as many of them as possible, though the overwhelming position is very much: "There's a lot of work to be done".
2. The values are undecided. During the open Q&A session I would say that the majority of question were to do with values. People are most concerned about what gets spit out when the internet is synthesised through an American lens. How does that apply to the rest of the world?
3. This brings up the interesting question/statement - what is unifying? When every instance of reality can be customised to the individual. What do people talk about around the water cooler when there is no water cooler or anything in common to talk about?
4. The people/companies/governments getting the most out of AI (ChatGPT and the like) are the ones that are embracing it with an experimental mindset. Turning it on and seeing all the different ways it can be used in their workplace. [Note: no, this post was not written by ChatGPT].
What was nice about the talk was the tone. A lot of conversation about AI has been spun into the negative, and many of the stated reasons make sense. We are dealing with ill-defined problems with unknown solutions. But then again, the same could be said about all of the internet.
Sam's tone wasn't sad or cynical. It was optimistic and exciting. That, to me, is exciting. To see someone willingly wade into the unknown. Perhaps one of the biggest technological unknowns of our lives. To have a conversation less about the end of the world or more about the ideas and opportunities we can work into a new one.
I don't even like the phrase "new world". But that enthusiasm. That was nice; we need more of that.
I've made a video exploring how company workshops could be impacted by AI and what potential business and brand problems come with the space.