OpenAI CEO Sam Altman on GPT-4: ‘people are begging to be disappointed and they will be’

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has addressed rumors regarding GPT-4 — the company’s as yet unreleased language model and latest in the GPT-series that forms the foundation of AI chatbot ChatGPT — saying that “people are begging to be disappointed and they will be.”

During an interview with StrictlyVC, Altman was asked if GPT-4 will come out in the first quarter or half of the year, as many expect. He responded by offering no certain timeframe. “It’ll come out at some point, when we are confident we can do it safely and responsibly,” he said.

GPT-3 came out in 2020, and an improved version, GPT 3.5, was used to create ChatGPT. The launch of GPT-4 is much anticipated, with more excitable members of the AI community and Silicon Valley world already declaring it to be a huge leap forward. Making wild predictions about the capabilities of GPT-4 has become something of a meme in these circles, particularly when it comes to guessing the model’s number of parameters (a metric that corresponds to an AI system’s complexity and, roughly, its capability — but not in a linear fashion).

When asked about one viral (and factually incorrect) chart that purportedly compares the number of parameters in GPT-3 (175 billion) to GPT-4 (100 trillion), Altman called it “complete bullshit.”

“The GPT-4 rumor mill is a ridiculous thing. I don’t know where it all comes from,” said the OpenAI CEO. “People are begging to be disappointed and they will be. The hype is just like… We don’t have an actual AGI and that’s sort of what’s expected of us.”

(AGI here refers to “artificial general intelligence” — shorthand for an AI system with at least human-equivalent capabilities across many domains.)

Video-generating AI models are coming, says Altman

In the interview, Altman addressed a number of topics, including when OpenAI will build an AI model capable of generating video. (Meta and Google have already demoed research in this area.) “It will come. I wouldn’t want to make a confident prediction about when,” said Altman on generative video AI. “We’ll try to do it, other people will try to do it … It’s a legitimate research project. It could be pretty soon; it could take a while.”

The full interview can be watched in two parts, here and here (with the second part focusing more on OpenAI the company and AI more generally), but we’ve picked out some of Altman’s most notable statements below:

(This point is notable given ongoing conversations about AI and bias. Systems like ChatGPT tend to regurgitate many social biases, like sexism and racism, which they internalize based on their training data. Companies like OpenAI try to mitigate the biases by stopping the systems from repeating these ideas. However, some conservative writers have accused ChatGPT of being “woke” because of its answers to certain political and cultural questions.)

“Generated text is something we all need to adapt to, and that’s fine.”

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