Sam Altman: the quick, deep thinker leading OpenAI | Tech News

Sam Altman: the quick, deep thinker leading OpenAI

Altman testified on Tuesday to a US Senate Judiciary Committee panel and said artificial intelligence could be at a "printing press" moment, which would make him one of its main pioneers.

By:AFP
| Updated on: May 17 2023, 10:20 IST
Beware of fake ChatGPT apps! Already downloaded? Delete now
Sam Altman
1/6 OpenAI's ChatGPT portal is rapidly gaining popularity. It uses state-of-the-art language processing techniques to generate human-like responses to text input and  interacts conversationally with users to provide detailed answers on a wide range of topics.  (Bloomberg)
Sam Altman
2/6 But if you are looking to download the app from your Google Play Store or App Store, then beware! There are several fake ChatGPT-like apps that can be dangerous for your device.  (Bloomberg)
Sam Altman
3/6 You can find a bunch of fake ChatGPT apps on Google Play Store and App Store which can steal your data, a report by top10vpn revealed.  Hence, if you have already downloaded them, then you should hurry and delete them quickly. (REUTERS)
Sam Altman
4/6 Some of these apps on Android are: AI Chat Companion, ChatGPT 3: ChatGPT AI, Talk GPT – Talk to ChatGPT, ChatGPT AI Writing Assistant, Open Chat – AI Chatbot App. (Bloomberg)
Sam Altman
5/6 Some apps are also available on Apple's App Store, which include: Genie - GPT AI Assistant, Write For Me GPT AI Assistant, ChatGPT - GPT 3, Alfred - Chat with GPT 3, Chat w. GPT AI - Write This, ChatGPT - AI Writing apps, Wiz AI Chat Bot Writing Helper, Chat AI: Personal AI Assistant, and Wisdom Ai - Your AI Assistant.  (AFP)
image caption
6/6 However, it must be noted that OpenAI does not have an official standalone app for ChatGPT. Hence, you can use the feature in your browser while login to the official website at www.chat.openai.com/chat.  (AP)
Sam Altman
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OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is emerging as the tech titan of the AI age. (AP)

An influential Silicon Valley presence for more than a decade, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is emerging as the tech titan of the AI age, riding the wave of ChatGPT, the bot his company unleashed on the world.

Altman testified on Tuesday to a US Senate Judiciary Committee panel and said artificial intelligence could be at a "printing press" moment, which would make him one of its main pioneers.

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In 2015, Altman joined Tesla chief Elon Musk and others in starting OpenAI, a research company with a stated goal of building generative AI that benefits humanity.

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"The technological progress we make in the next 100 years will be far larger than all we've made since we first controlled fire and invented the wheel," Altman said in a 2021 blog post.

Born in 1985 into a Jewish family, Altman grew up in a St. Louis suburb, where he got his first computer at the age of eight, according to a long profile in the New Yorker from 2016.

Computers and the access to online community they enable helped him navigate being gay in a conservative part of the country, Altman said in an interview with Esquire.

Like so many tech figures before him, Altman dropped out of Stanford University to start a company, Loopt, which let smartphone users selectively share their whereabouts.

Loopt was acquired in 2012 in a deal valued at $43.4 million -- and Altman's place in Silicon Valley was secured.

Altman took a year off during which he "read many dozens of textbooks; I learned about the fields that I had been interested in," the San Francisco resident wrote in a post.

He told of learning about nuclear engineering, synthetic biology, investing, and AI.

"The seeds were planted for things that worked in deep ways later," he said.

In 2014, Altman became president of Y Combinator, an "accelerator" that provides startups with guidance and funding in exchange for stakes in the young companies.

Altman expanded Y Combinator's strategy for investing beyond software startups to biotech, energy, and other fields.

"He thinks quickly and talks quickly; intense, but in a good way," said Industrial Microbes founder Derek Greenfield, who met Altman while his biotech startup was getting backing from Y Combinator.

Greenfield recalled Altman always dressing casually, sometimes in a T-shirt and shorts.

"He was very down to earth," Greenfield said.

Altman left Y Combinator, putting his energy into artificial intelligence despite feared risks.

"He's a very deep thinker who is incredibly focused on getting things right," Insider Intelligence senior director of marketing and commerce Jeremy Goldman said.

Altman backed a "United Slate" political project in 2018 aimed at improving housing and healthcare policy.

He also held a fundraising event for 2020 US presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who advocated for universal basic income.

Yang "had some ideas about universal basic income that (he said) everybody needed, in part because AI was going to take the people's jobs," Goldman said.

Altman has proposed that combining artificial intelligence, robotics, and cost-free energy could essentially enable machines to do all the work and provide a "basic income" to adults across society.

"A great future isn't complicated: we need technology to create more wealth, and policy to fairly distribute it," Altman wrote in a blog post.

“Everything necessary will be cheap, and everyone will have enough money to be able to afford it.”

In the New Yorker article, Altman said he was a "prepper," someone who has preparations and supplies in place to survive an apocalyptic disaster.

He has spoken of owning high-performance sports cars and renting planes to fly around California.

Altman said in a blog post that the last day of each December he writes a list of things he wants to accomplish in the year ahead.

His personal investments include startups working on fusion energy and human life extension.

"I'm super optimistic," he said in a podcast with TED curator Chris Anderson.

"It's always easy to doom scroll and think about how bad things are," Altman added, “but the good things are really good and getting much better.”

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First Published Date: 17 May, 10:19 IST
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