Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, the company behind the creation of ChatGPT, told ABC News in an interview that aired Thursday that he is "a little bit scared" of his company's creation and noted that the powerful artificial intelligence technology is "going to eliminate a lot of current jobs."
On Tuesday, OpenAI released a new version of the AI tech, ChatGPT-4, which has the ability to understand images. A demonstration of the new iteration showed the software sharing a recipe for items found inside a fridge. It can also solve puzzles and describe the meaning of internet memes.
At this time, the new features included in the latest iteration are only available to a small set of users.
Altman explained that the technology works by "ingesting a huge amount of text from a significant fraction of the internet" and replicating something similar to reasoning and understanding.
He admitted that ChatGPT and other AI systems would likely wipe out millions of jobs, but believes it "can do the opposite of all those things too."
"It is going to eliminate a lot of current jobs, that's true. We can make much better ones," Altman explained. He added that "human creativity is limitless" and society "can adapt wonderfully to major technological shifts."
Altman insisted that the benefits of creating the revolutionary technology would far outweigh the costs.
"The reason to develop AI at all is that I believe this will be, in terms of impact on our lives and improving our lives and upside, this will be the greatest technology humanity has yet developed," Altman stated.
The 37-year-old CEO noted that he is concerned about the technology falling into the wrong hands, including authoritarian governments like Russia and China. Altman told ABC News that he is in consistent contact with the federal government to ensure the United States wins the AI arms race.
Altman also expressed concerns that ChatGPT could produce "misinformation."
"The thing that I try to caution people the most is what we call the 'hallucinations problem,'" he said. "The model will confidently state things as if they were facts that are entirely made up."
Altman stated that he believes "people should be happy that we are a little bit scared of this."
ABC News' chief business, technology, and economics correspondent, Rebecca Jarvis, asked Altman to clarify whether he personally is fearful of ChatGPT.
Altman replied, "I think if I said I were not, you should either not trust me or be very unhappy I'm in this job."
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