Sam Altman shares his views on future of AI at QF’s Education City Speaker Series

Sam Altman shares his views on future of AI at QF’s Education City Speaker Series

QLNews
By QLNews

The world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has recently been in the spotlight all thanks to the introduction and popularity of ChatGPT, which people feel will play an increasing role in their lives in the future.

Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI — the company which created ChatGPT — was recently in Doha to attend a talk during Qatar Foundation’s Education City Speaker Series.

Altman’s talk was attended by Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation, at the Qatar National Library in Education City.

Altman felt AI could create immense positives for the world, becoming an ‘incredibly powerful’ system that can solve societies’ biggest problems including climate change, education, and eradication of diseases.

He shed more light on various aspects of AI such as its role in education, its risks, the inequity of AI technology among developing and developed countries, and expert predictions for what AI will mean for the world in the future.

“The positive is technology can create worlds which will be immense, and the main point I’d like to make is that we’re still at the very, very beginning – and that we can get immensely better with more skill systems. So, everything happening now will look totally unprecedented for years,” he said.

Speaking about what experts predict for the future of AI, Altman said: “Remember, five years ago, the consensus from all experts about automation was that robotics and physical tasks would take over.

“For example, they said truck drivers were in bad shape. Then they said to wait longer to see whether basic cognitive labor would be taken over by AI, and then even longer to see whether creativity got taken over by AI. And it’s been exactly the opposite.”

He highlighted that anyone who predicts the future of AI should not be believed, because “it’s very difficult to do.”

Moderated by Elyas Felfoul, Director of Policy Development & Partnerships at Qatar Foundation’s (QF) global education thinktank WISE, the session gave members of Qatar’s community a chance to interact with Altman.

One audience question spotlighted the issue of fear of change and job losses through AI. Altman responded: “I think we’re going to manage to get to the other side — we have to — but this is going to be a dramatic change.

“In this next decade, we’re going to live through history in a way we haven’t done in this world. The socio-economic contract is going to change a lot. There’s fear, for sure, but it’s up to us to figure out how to do good. 

“With this technology, there’s going to be economic impact – that’s unavoidable. Over time, I think AI will automate more and more jobs; I’m pretty sure that in most of the categories, humans will just operate at a higher level and quality. We’ve seen this with previous technology — computers, for example. And it’s been seen that, for the most part, people have been able to just do more and better. I think that’s what will happen with AI.”

During his time at Education City, Altman also visited Qatar Computing Research Institute, part of QF’s Hamad bin Khalifa University.

The Education City Speaker Series is a QF platform for dialogue that allows the public to hear from and interact with local, regional, and international thought-leaders and experts.

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