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Ryan Broderick with a reality check about OpenAI and GenAI in general:

I think this [Effective Altruists vs effective accelerationists debate] is all very silly. I also think this the logical conclusion of rich, isolated computer programmers having ketamine orgies with each other. But it does, unfortunately, underpin every debate you’re probably seeing about the future of AI. Silicon Valley’s elite believe in these ideas so devoutly that Google is comfortable sacrificing its own business in pursuit of them. Even though EA and e/acc are effectively just competing cargo cults for a fancy autocorrect. Though, they also help alleviate some of the intense pressure huge tech companies are under to stay afloat in the AI arms race. Here’s how it works.


Analysts told The Information last year that OpenAI’s ChatGPT is possibly costing the company up to $700,000 a day to operate. Sure, Microsoft invested $13 billion in the company and, as of February, OpenAI was reportedly projecting $2 billion in revenue, but it’s not just about maintaining what you’ve built. The weird nerds I mentioned above have all decided that the finish line here is “artificial general intelligence,” or AGI, a sentient AI model. Which is actually very funny because now every major tech company has to burn all of their money — and their reputations — indefinitely, as they compete to build something that is, in my opinion, likely impossible (don’t @ me). This has largely manifested as a monthly drum beat of new AI products no one wants rolling out with increased desperation. But you know what’s cheaper than churning out new models? “Scaring” investors.


This is why OpenAI lets CEO Sam Altman walk out on stages every few weeks and tell everyone that its product will soon destroy the economy forever. Because every manager and executive in America hears that and thinks, “well, everyone will lose their jobs but me,” and continues paying for their ChatGPT subscription. As my friend Katie Notopoulos wrote in Business Insider last week, it’s likely this is the majority of what Altman’s role is at OpenAI. Doomer in chief.


I’ve written this before, but I’m going to keep repeating it until the god computer sends me to cyber hell: The “two” “sides” of the AI “debate“ are not real. They both result in the same outcome — an entire world run by automations owned by the ultra-wealthy. Which is why the most important question right now is not, “how safe is this AI model?” It’s, “do we need even need it?”

Source: Garbage Day

Image: Google DeepMind