Ilya Sutskever, OpenAI’s chief scientist says the future of AI “It’s going to be monumental, earth-shattering. There will be a before and an after.”
Ilya Sutskever’s contributions to the advancements of AI over the last decade are huge—and he just gave a rare interview to MIT Technology Review.
In this wide-ranging discussion, he makes some bold statements about the sheer power of AI today—and in the near-future—and speaks of artificial general intelligence (AGI) as a near-term inevitability.
Because of that belief, he’s now working on “superalignment,” or making sure that humans remain in control when AI achieves “superintelligence” (i.e. it’s able to outsmart us at every cognitive task).
When asked about the risks and rewards he sees coming from AI down the line, he says at one point: “It’s going to be monumental, earth-shattering. There will be a before and an after.”
Instead of building the next GPT or image maker DALL-E, Sutskever says his new priority is to figure out how to stop an artificial superintelligence (a hypothetical future technology he sees coming with the foresight of a true believer) from going rogue.
He thinks ChatGPT vcant be confused as being conscious – yet. He thinks the world needs to wake up to the true power of the technology his company and others are racing to create. And he thinks some humans will one day choose to merge with machines.
A lot of what Sutskever says is wild. But not nearly as wild as it would have sounded just one or two years ago. As he tells it, ChatGPT has already rewritten a lot of people’s expectations about what’s coming, turning “will never happen” into “will happen faster than you think.”
“It’s important to talk about where it’s all headed,” he says, before predicting the development of artificial general intelligence (by which he means machines as smart as humans) as if it were as sure a bet as another iPhone: “At some point we really will have AGI. Maybe OpenAI will build it. Maybe some other company will build it.”
Since the release of its sudden surprise hit, ChatGPT, last November, the buzz around OpenAI has been astonishing, even in an industry known for hype. No one can get enough of this nerdy $80 billion startup. World leaders get private audiences. Its clunky product names pop up in casual conversation.
OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, spent a good part of the summer on a weeks-long outreach tour, glad-handing politicians and speaking to packed auditoriums around the world. But Sutskever is much less of a public figure, and he doesn’t give a lot of interviews.
He is deliberate and methodical when he talks. There are long pauses when he thinks about what he wants to say and how to say it, turning questions over like puzzles he needs to solve.
Dyenamic Solutions will continue the Ilya Sutskever interview shortly – so please come back soon.