Sam Altman missed the plot

4 Films That Sam Altman Woefully Missed The Point Of

4 min read
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Is Sam Altman a film bro who understands movies on a level beyond general human intelligence, or does he just… not get the point?

Following the OpenAI CEO’s recent spat with Scarlett Johansson, technology enthusiasts are slamming Altman for completely ignoring the cautionary message in a number of Hollywood films about tech.

With the ScarJo case, it’s Spike Jonze’s 2014 film Her

Altman (unsuccessfully) asking the Hollywood A-lister to voice OpenAI’s latest AI voice assistant — in order to bring the dystopian film Her to life — might look like an aspirational move, but Sam, sir, that film was supposed to be a warning, not inspo… sigh.

As Kat Tenbarge of NBC News puts it: “We’re up to at least three movies Sam Altman catastrophically missed the point of.”

You’re so right, Kat. Here are films whose core themes appear to have completely flown over Altman’s head — compiled from the tech community’s sentiments on X. 

1. Oppenheimer (2023)

Filmgoers around the world caught Barbenheimer fever last year, and Sam Altman was among them. The OpenAI CEO shared this one tweet that quickly went viral in tech circles. Why? Because of its… interesting take on Oppenheimer.

“I was hoping that the oppenheimer movie would inspire a generation of kids to be physicists but it really missed the mark on that,” he wrote.

Really?? Walking into a Christopher Nolan film about making an atomic bomb for World War II, hoping for it to be inspirational and uplifting???? Apologise to my king Cillian Murphy now.

To make matters worse, level 3,000 tech bro and the final boss of pro-natalists Elon Musk chimed in, replying with an “Indeed”. HUH????? What do these billionaire CEOs see that we don’t????????? 

Me when Oppenheimer fails to inspire a generation of kids to be physicists. Source

2. The Social Network (2010)

Drop ‘The’. Source

Kids, it’s not a good idea to run a business with your best mates. That’s the main takeaway from David Fincher’s 2010 drama starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake.

Eisenberg’s Mark Zuckerberg is socially awkward, and is depicted as a slimy guy who stole the Winklevoss twins’ Facebook concept. He develops into a ruthless boss towards the end and eventually ousts his business partner Eduardo Saverin (played by Garfield).

Sam Altman’s take on the film is markedly different, though. In the same tweet about Oppenheimer, the OpenAI CEO felt that The Social Network “managed to [inspire] startup founders”. 

HUH??!!?? Betrayal is what inspires the startup scene??? Maybe people are built different in Silicon Valley. But hey, Altman spent five years as president of iconic startup incubator Y Combinator — so maybe we should listen to him!

3. Her (2014)

Source

This one is pretty obvious. Sam Altman is just a massive fan of Scarlett Johansson’s voice… right? ScarJo revealed in a statement that she was approached by Altman to be the IRL voice of the latest ChatGPT model. Coincidentally, the Hollywood actress voiced an AI virtual assistant in the movie Her

“He told me that he felt that by my voicing the system, I could bridge the gap between tech companies and creatives and help consumers to feel comfortable with the seismic shift concerning humans and AI. He said he felt that my voice would be comforting to people.”

Keeping in mind, of course, that Her director Spike Jonze’s intention was to get us to think about the issues surrounding loneliness and our relationship with technology.

“The movie’s about different things I’ve been thinking about and been confused about, in terms of the way we live now, and in terms of relationships and how we try to connect and fail to connect,” he told SBS in a 2014 interview. 

Is Altman messing with our brains by trying to bring a sci-fi dystopia to life? Or is he just a ScarJo fanboy? 

4. The Little Mermaid (1989)

Intense online debate about Her, ScarJo and Sam Altman has seen a few tech enthusiasts point out that the saga is reminiscent of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. How so?

  • Altman approaches ScarJo for her voice, she says no.
  • Altman asks a second time, ScarJo says no.
  • OpenAI introduces the new ChatGPT voice assistant — holy shit, it sounds a lot like ScarJo! 

Scene by scene, adhering faithfully to the plot! It’s pretty impressive, actually. “[Sam] as Ursula, the remake is going to be lit,” wrote a venture capitalist on X.


We’ll file this under “Films that Sam Altman didn’t quite understand”.