Altman’s “brink of AGI” hype is lulz, what we have is as far from general intelligence as a nail is from an elephant. Because it’s so dumb, it wastes mongo bucks to run, driving a need for more funding: a self-sustaining hype loop. Altman learned hypebeast fundraising from his former partner Elon.
When you’re using multiple power plants’ output to generate drivel an undereducated teen could do on 20 watts of Cheetos…
“We’re close to AGI” is chum for nontechnical marks. It drives funding, personal riches and stampedes 80something pols into locking out the open source competitors that make you sweat.
AGI doomers are similarly hilarious in the short term, jumping at shadows in their own bedroom. All the biggest doomers are non-techies flogging doomer books which are basically sci-fi (Harari, Yudkowski, Bostrom). The ones with a tech background tend to be architecture-astronaut PhDs looking at the extreme long term.
Long term, AGI could help us discover new physical laws and solve tough problems like climate change, cancer and interstellar travel.
Even longer term, AI takeover will probably happen. Like nukes, you can hold the line for only so long. As it becomes easier and cheaper, other actors will get access, and there will be a competitive need to unleash it.
But that’s well into a sci-fi timeline.
None of this diminishes where ML tools are for generating and classifying: genuinely useful. But just tools.