2-5 years to sci-fi level AI? Former OpenAI employee sounds alarm

I definitely worry about where AI is going — I'm guessing most of us do. So Ezra's Klein's sobering interview with Dario Amodei is, well, sobering. Very. Amodei was one of the first employees at ChatGPT and now runs his own AI development firm. He's as insider as it gets. It's a truly excellent, wide ranging discussion that covers a lot of ground over the hour.

But this was the part that struck me: in his view, the speed with which everything is about to change will be shocking to most of us. And not "stick your finger in a light socket" shocking — more like "playing golf in a thunderstorm" shocking.

"What the A.I. developers say is that the power of A.I. systems is on this kind of curve, that it has been increasing exponentially, their capabilities, and that as long as we keep feeding in more data and more computing power, it will continue increasing exponentially." 

EZRA KLEIN: That is the scaling law hypothesis, and one of its main advocates is Dario Amodei. Amodei led the team at OpenAI that created GPT-2, that created GPT-3. He then left OpenAI to co-found Anthropic, another A.I. firm, where he's now the C.E.O….

But Amodei believes we're just getting started, that we're just hitting the steep part of the curve now. He thinks the kinds of systems we've imagined in sci-fi, they're coming not in 20 or 40 years, not in 10 or 15 years, they're coming in two to five years. He thinks they're going to be so powerful that he and people like him should not be trusted to decide what they're going to do.

Two to five years??!! We regular folk have our head in the sand, blind to what's literally about to come banging on our door with a sledgehammer and a blowtorch.

We are living on the cusp of a revolution, an earthquake, a tsunami, the likes of which humanity has never seen before. I, for one, just shit myself.  

Previously: AI is either going to save us or kill us. Or both.