OpenAI’s new interim CEO suggested earlier this year that artificial intelligence has a level of potential risk to humanity that “should make you shit your pants.”
In a June interview On “The Logan Bartlett Show” podcast, Shear said he feared that AI technology could evolve until it was smart enough to design AI on its own, “completely self-improve” and outsmart humans.
“That kind of intelligence is something inherently very dangerous,” he said. “Because intelligence is power. Human beings are the dominant form of life on this planet, practically entirely because we are now more intelligent than other creatures.”
He calculated the “probability of perdition” between 5 and 50%.
His interviewer, Bartlett, noted that most AI experts seem to assign some percentage of risk to the technology. He cited Paul Christiano, an OpenAI researcher who has released a variety of alarming figures about the likelihood of poor long-term AI outcomes.
“That should make you shit your pants,” Shear said.
In June, Shear shared a clip of the interview on X (formerly Twitter), saying the exchange “more or less captures my high-level beliefs about AI and how dangerous it is.”
That clip resurfaced and was shared on Sunday after Shear was announced as interim leader of OpenAI.
In a Sunday post on XShear said he accepted the position because he believes OpenAI is one of the “most important companies out there today” and “ultimately, I felt I had a duty to help if I could.”
He shared a three-point plan that will be executed over the next 30 days, including hiring an independent investigator to investigate Altman’s ouster and “the entire process leading up to this point.”
The findings, he said, would inform whether the company needed further governance changes.
The company did not disclose the exact reason for Altman’s firing, but the board said in its announcement that he “was not consistently candid in his communications with the board.”
In an internal note According to information obtained by The New York Times, board members said that Altman’s “lack of transparency in his interactions with the board undermined the board’s ability to effectively oversee the company in the way he was directed to do.” .
The news shocked the tech industry over the weekend and punctuates the ongoing debate over the multibillion-dollar rise of AI and potential dangers posed by technology for the human race.