OpenAI’s Purpose is to Build AGI, and What That Means

Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, has said multiple times that,

He says it in this video as well.

> We’re very much here to build AGI.

Sam Altman

I am not sure how many people realize this about the company. They’re not like playing with other AI-related tech and AGI might come out of it. They’re purposely building it. And that raises the question of how he defines AGI.

He’s said multiple times that he defines AGI as a fairly intelligent and competent co-worker. He has specifically said this means the person having a median IQ, but median IQ is 100, so I’m not sure he’s aware that you need more than that to be a solid programmer, attorney, or scientist. If he’s talking about a competent co-worker in higher-end knowledge and creative work, I think that bar would be more like 120 or so.

Anyway, what’s important is that he’s not talking about the 10x programmer, or the Von Neumann, or the Mozart. He’s talking about a solid performer.

The key though, is that you can hire that person to learn anything. Doing paperwork. Writing code. Giving lectures. Assembling things. Testing things. Designing a system. Whatever. That’s the important bit. That it’s General.

So Sam’s definition of AGI is a pretty smart co-worker that you can train to do anything. And then of course, because it’s an AGI, it can just do it consistently from then on out, without getting tired. Plus you can “hire” 1,000 of them, or 1,000,000 million of them if you need to.

That’s why it’ll change the world once it happens. We’ll be able to get so much more work done than before, in a more consistent way, and without having to constantly retrain for a human workforce that goes through various life phases.

And honestly, there’s no reason to expect that these agents will spend any considerable amount of time at 100 or 120 IQ. I fully expect them to spend little or no time there, and to instantly jump into IQ levels in the high 100’s or even in the 200’s or 300’s, which is insane.

And that’s just talking about regular co-workers who are that smart. That’s not even talking about a likely eventual superintelligence that will come from that evolution, which will be smarter than all of humanity combined. And this isn’t some pure fantasy. This is anticipated by many of the top thinkers in the space.

Anyway, the point of all this is to say that this isn’t something that might fall out of ChatGPT. It’s not a conspiracy that they’re trying to build AGI. It’s not a rumor. It’s their stated goal.

Unbelievably exciting.