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OpenAI sees challenges with full AGI and outlines plans to address them

Image by DALL-E for the prompt AI taking over the world
Image by DALL-E

Artificial general intelligence (AGI) is a term that refers to AI systems that can perform any task that humans can do, or even better. Achieving AGI is one of the most ambitious and controversial goals in the field of AI, as it could have profound implications for humanity's future. OpenAI, the AI research company behind ChatGPT, has recently published a blog post that gives us an idea how the company will be pulling off with the challenges for creating and managing AGI.

OpenAI's wants AGI to "empower humanity to maximally flourish the universe". With AGI, there could be potential risks and uncertainties such as misuse, accidents, and even societal disruptions. To tackle this, OpenAI has proposed a set of principles that guide its work on AGI, intended for the short term -

  • Deploying and learning from less powerful AI systems in the real world to gain experience and feedback
  • Democratizing access to AI benefits and governance
  • Developing new alignment techniques to ensure that AI systems act in accordance with human values and preferences
  • Strengthening the institutions of the world to agree on wide bounds for AI use and regulation
  • Sharing information about AI progress with the public and seeking input from diverse stakeholders

There are certainly other factors as well that will shape how the development of AGI is impacting humanity. These factors include the timeline (how long it will take to create AGI), takeoff speeds (how fast AGI will improve itself), coordination (how well different actors will cooperate or compete on AGI development), and safety (how well aligned AGI will be with human goals). OpenAI says that a shorter timeline and slower takeoff speeds will allow more time for learning, adaptation, and coordination among governments, firms, and the overall general population to gradually understand what's happening and experience both the upsides and downsides of the technology.

With that said, OpenAI also warns about the fact that things are not predictable and even the company itself doesn't have all the answers and solutions to potential problems in the future, especially after AGI becomes mainstream. The company hopes that for the long term, a conversation about how to govern these systems, how to fairly distribute their benefits, and how to fairly share access is a must.

OpenAI also emphasized upon how the company's structure is aligned with its mission. The company's charter outlines its principles and goals for developing AGI. It also has a cap on the returns its shareholders can earn, and the company is actually governed by a nonprofit board that oversees its activities. The board can also override any for-profit interests if they conflict with the company's mission.

You can read more about how OpenAI plans for the future of AGI by clicking here.

Are you with or against the idea of AGI? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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