OpenAI founder talks ChatGPT, Dall-E and what's next for artificial … – Austin American-Statesman

As artificial intelligence tools such as ChatGPT and Dall-E become more mainstream and accessible to the general public, concerns about what their future will hold have come with them.
If you ask Greg Brockman, co-founder of OpenAI, the company behind artificial intelligence software ChatGPT and Dall-E, artificial intelligence will revolutionize everything from writing to entertainment to the way we do our jobs. Brockman spoke about the importance of the technology, which he said will revolutionize the world, Friday at South by Southwest during a featured session with Laurie Segall, CEO of Dot Dot Dot Media. 
Brockman said artificial intelligence will change the way we use the internet and interact with information.
“We’re clearly moving to a world where (the internet) is alive. You can talk to it, and it understands you and helps you,” Brockman said.
OpenAI is becoming one of the best known — and to some controversial — artificial intelligence companies making tools for the general public, including ChatGPT, an AI chatbot that is considered the fastest-growing application in history, and Dall-E, an AI-based art generator.
“I think this technology really can help everyone, can help the world,” Brockman said. “I think (OpenAI) is really about trying to get to that good future.”
Still, Brockman, who considers himself an “optimistic realist,” said ChatGPT was worrisome when it was launched in 2022.
“We’d been through lots of testing … but it’s very different from kind of exposing it to kind of the full diversity and adversarial and beautiful force of the world and where people are going to apply it,” Brockman said. “It was our first time building a consumer-facing app. We definitely were nervous, but I think that the team really rose to the occasion.”
OpenAI was founded in 2015 by a number of big technology players, including Brockman, Sam Altman, Reid Hoffman, Jessica Livingston, Peter Thiel, Elon Musk and Olivier Grabia. The company came together over a dinner at which the founders were discussing the future of AI.
“The question was, ‘Is it too late to start a lab with a bunch of the best people at it?’ ” Brockman said, adding that the goal was to build technology that was “better” and steered to be pro-humanity. “We could all see that exponential. I think we really wanted to really push it along and really steer it.”
Segal pointed out that OpenAI has been “hanging out in the background” and not overly hyped until recent months. The company started as a nonprofit research lab with plans to open-source code but pivoted to become for-profit in 2019, to better secure funding and scale.
“I think people see ChatGPT and say ‘wow’ and see the possibilities,” Brockman said. “It’s not science fiction anymore. It’s actually usable today. But it’s still hard to kind of extrapolate … to think what might be possible tomorrow.”
Brockman said the technology behind the tools OpenAI ended up developing is not new, but the company was able to make it more accessible by making it available for free to anyone on an easy-to-understand platform.
But not all founders have stuck with the company. Texas-transplant Musk, who resigned from the OpenAI board in 2018 but remained a donor, has been a vocal critic of the company in recent months, calling it biased. He said he plans to develop his own “anti-woke” AI software. Brockman acknowledged the criticism, saying the company is not perfect and is working toward evolving the tools.
“It was a failure on our part. We were not fast enough to address biases in ChatGPT. We did not intend them to be there. But our goal really was to have a system that would be egalitarian but treat all the mainstream sites equally, and we actually have a lot of improvements on this over the past month.”
The ethics of artificial intelligence is something Brockman thinks of often, and he sees AI as something all humanity will need to help work on.
“We have a team that works really hard on these problems,” he said. “I think we’re all very aligned in terms of trying to make this technology more trustworthy and usable.”
OpenAI’s products have been updated many times since they were first released. ChatGPT for example, has been updated about four or five times since December, Brockman said.
Brockman said he already sees the potential for the AI tools to change the way we learn, such as helping people who are learning English to write.
“For me, where generative AI can really shine is unblocking you, getting new ideas and just getting you an assistant that is willing to do whatever you want, 24/7,” Brockman said.
But as Segal pointed out, Chat GPT is far from perfect and sometimes can “confidently say the exact wrong thing,” almost “like a drunk frat guy.”
Brockman said people should not believe AI 100% of the time, and that the company is storing data on when the tool answers correctly to improve it.
Segal also raised concerns about fake videos that people make of politicians or even everyday people, and what happens to truth.
Brockman said journalism and having authoritative information sources will be increasingly important as AI tools develop.
“I don’t think we have all the answers, but I think it’s important to talk about,” Brockman said.
Brockman said many people, including him, used to think robots and AI would come for our jobs, though he viewed it as more likely to start with physical labor. Now he thinks it will start more with knowledge-based jobs, ones in which we “didn’t want human judgment in the first place,” such as content moderation.
“We’ve made great strides on cognitive labor — think writing poems,” Brockman said.
Brockman also looked toward the future of AI.
“I think what’s a real story here in my mind is an amplification of what humans can do,” Brockman said. “It’s kind of like you hire six assistants. They’re not perfect. They need to be trained up a little bit; they don’t quite know exactly what you want to do always. But they’re so eager; they never sleep; they’re there to help you. They’re willing to do the drudge work, and you get to be the director.”
Brockman said what AI will look like in 2050 is “unimaginable.” He hopes one day Dall-E could be used to make your dreams into art by hooking people up to dream interfaces.
He also views AI as having the potential to change the entertainment and writing industry, as well as coding.
“If you think about today, where everyone watches the same TV show, and maybe people are on the last season of ‘Game of Thrones,’ ” he said. “But imagine if you could ask your AI to make it go a different way, and maybe even put yourself in there as a main character or something and having interactive experiences.”
As the AI systems evolve, he also thinks we will be able to treat tools such as ChatGPT like an employee, and people will be able to help you act more like a manager of the AI. For example, it could write and test code for people for you.
“I think every aspect of life is going to be sort of amplified by this technology,” Brockman said, adding that AI will be a tool used for a number of things, much like a cellphone. But he acknowledged that there will be uses for AI that people or companies will not want, and he said that is fine, too.


About the author

Stacy Cook

Stacy Cook

Stacy is a certified ethical hacker and has a degree in Information Security. She keeps an eye on the latest cybersecurity threats and solutions, helping our readers stay safe online. Stacy is also a mentor for young women in tech and advocates for cybersecurity education.