Is OpenAI Creating Threats or Opportunities for the Human Race?

Published February 10th, 2021 - 07:00 GMT
Is OpenAI Creating Threats or Opportunities for the Human Race?
If you look around, you can find AI encrypted into our daily lives. From google maps to filtering your spam emails, AI is everywhere. (Shutterstock)

The world is witnessing new technologies that have the power to transform our world as we know it. One of these powerful technologies is artificial intelligence (AI). If you look around, you can find AI encrypted into our daily lives. From google maps to filtering your spam emails, AI is everywhere. And according to Forbes, AI will continue to revolutionize industries more in 2021. 

But before we get into how AI is transforming life as we know it, let us go back a little bit in time. In 2015, Elon Musk co-founded OpenAI, a non-profit AI research lab that aims to ensure that artificial general intelligence (AGI) is used to benefit humanity. While AI is the general term, AGI falls under its umbrella and aims to give machines the power of human intellect. With the introduction of advanced technology comes the question of whether these technologies will pose a threat to humans or not. 

OpenAI claims they are committed to making AGI safe as they push towards a more transparent model to ensure that it is developed and used safely. This was reflected when the AI research lab deemed its research about GPT-2, a text generator, dangerous to release in 2019. GTP-2 was fed an abundant amount of data that enabled it to generate reasonable text that performed better than previous AI models. The potential misuse of such a technology is high and therefore OpenAI decided against releasing it until further research was made to determine the extent of its implications. Such implications can include using GPT-2 to generate misleading articles, automated spam or abusive content or even impersonation. However, shortly after, OpenAI proceeded to release an advanced version of the text generator, called GPT-3.  

In June 2020, OpenAI released an API, which includes GPT-3 for developers to use. The power of GPT-3 lies in the amount of data that it has been fed. Despite the fact that it is still in the beta phase and is only available for some people, the technology is already pushing boundaries and showcasing ideas that were previously thought far-fetched. So let us take a look into some examples that reflect its powerful potential: 

Generates new ideas

Helps you brainstorm

Rewrites job descriptions 

Writes your emails for you

Builds pictures - such as an avocado armchair!

According to MIT, OpenAI started using GPT-3 with two new models called CLIP and DALL·E, which use NLP and images to improve AI understanding. CLIP is used to recognize images based on their captions, while DALL·E draws them. 

CEO of OpenAI, Sam Altman, believes that GPT-3 is only the beginning of what AI can really do. However, it is important to acknowledge that change is already here, and new technologies are coming to stay. Therefore, it is instrumental for decision makers to understand the real potential of these technologies and work towards using them to benefit our world. 


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