OpenAI coup less stressful than superintelligent AI, Sam Altman says

Sam Altman said that his dramatic and quickly-reversed firing at OpenAI was less nerve-wracking than how the world approaches making artificial intelligence as capable as humans.

“As the world gets closer to AGI, the stakes, the stress, the level of tension — that’s all going to go up,” the ChatGPT-maker’s chief executive officer and co-founder said on a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday. 

AI has been a key theme at this year’s Davos summit, with business leaders discussing how best to use the technology after a flurry of investment, while raising concerns about risks, including its potential impact on democracy during a bumper election year. The rapid advancements in the field and race by companies to achieve a hypothetical future artificial general intelligence, or AGI, has led to many policymakers to call for regulation.

Altman’s ouster by the board in November was “a microcosm of it, but probably not the most stressful experience we ever face,” he said, speaking on a panel about technology in a turbulent world. He said the episode taught the company not to let “not-urgent problems” linger. 

Read More: OpenAI’s Altman Ouster Was Result of Drawn-Out Tensions

“We had known that our board had gotten too small, and we knew that we didn’t have the level of experience we needed, but last year was such a wild year for us in so many ways, that we sort of just neglected it,” he said.

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