Turing AGI Icons Sam Altman

Last updated on March 29th, 2024 at 06:12 am

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Turing AGI Icons: Charting the Future with Sam Altman

By March 29, 2024 3 min read

Turing AGI Icons is dedicated to spotlighting the influential figures propelling the rapid advancement of artificial general intelligence. This series shares insights directly from icons leading the charge toward developing accessible and beneficial AGI at some of the world’s most cutting-edge companies.

The first event in the Turing AGI Icons series featured a conversation between Turing CEO Jonathan Siddharth and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.

Here are some takeaways from the event.

1. Building AGI and helping people use it—one of the greatest quests in human history

Altman shared that building safe AGI and helping people deploy it widely would be a remarkable quest in human history. “I certainly cannot imagine a more fun, exciting, important thing to work on,” he mentioned. Altman also lauded the prosperity that would come from truly abundant intelligence with the ability to do things beyond what humans can do on their own. 

He added that it’s incredibly fun to be in the room at the forefront of scientific discovery. “We get to see what’s going to happen a little bit before anybody else, and we get to figure out, what I think, is the most interesting puzzle I can imagine. And so that’s quite rewarding to work on,” Altman explained. 

2. AGI is much more than its definition—it’s a continuous journey 

As the figurehead of OpenAI, Altman helped pierce through the fog surrounding AGI and its definition.

“I don’t think [the definition] matters. Honestly, I think AGI means smarter systems than what we have today; systems that are coming in at some point in the relatively approachable future. But we’re on this one continuum of increasing intelligence,” Altman elaborated. 

He mentioned that there were impactful inventions before AGI and that there will be more in the future. Therefore, viewing AGI as a continuum—as a continuous journey—is one of the most helpful mental shifts to make. 

3. 2024 will be about smarter, better models 

Talking about AGI’s journey this year, Altman mentioned that the models will get generally smarter. The one word he used to describe AGI was “capable.”

“I think that’s the special thing. It’s not that we’re going to add this modality or that modality or that we’re going to get better at this kind of reasoning or that part of the distribution. The whole thing is going to get generally smarter across the board. The fact that we’re living through this sort of AI revolution is going to seem much crazier in the history books than it does right now,” he said. 

4. A culture that values research, engineering, and safety 

One of the principles that Altman and the team believed in from the very beginning was equally valuing research, engineering, and safety. 

“We knew how to build a good engineering team and a good engineering culture. So, we brought that and research culture together. We started with safety because we really care about it. We were going to try our hardest to figure out how to make the system safe. And we did those three things for a while,” Altman explained.  

He further explained that building a culture that valued all of those principles was one of the most interesting and hardest challenges of the job.  “It was not like there was one first-class citizen [among the three] and everything else was neglected. So, we got all of those different areas of expertise to work together towards one harmonious ‘we care and we’re going to get the details right’ thing,” he added. 

The final word

Altman’s discourse touched on myriad facets of AGI, from its current landscape, ethical considerations, and challenges to its potential, and he hinted at a future where AGI became an integral part of our lives. 

Additionally, the event offered exclusive insight into the operations of the company pioneering the GenAI revolution with ChatGPT, including its vision for constructing beneficial, accessible, and safe AGI to enhance the well-being of humanity as a whole.

The promise of AI is boundless 

In a world where AI transformation is the new digital transformation, generative AI solutions are key to unleashing your business potential and maximizing your competitive advantage. Keeping pace with the evolving AI landscape can be challenging for even the most tech-savvy leaders. 

Turing can help you. Turing uses proprietary AI to help companies build enterprise applications, train and enhance LLMs, and hire on-demand technical professionals. Innovate your business with AI-powered talent. Head over to Turing.com for more information.

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  • Sanika

    Sanika is a team lead at Turing. She regularly contributes to the Times of India and Femina. As a researcher, she collaborates with the United Nations, UNESCO, and the British Council. Sanika has worked for Women and Child Development as a part of her government fellowship program. When she's not working, she's closely analyzing culture and gender performativity.


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