WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 11: OpenAI Chief Executive Officer Sam Altman walks on the House side of the U.S. Capitol on January 11, 2024 in Washington, DC. Meanwhile, House Freedom Caucus members who left a meeting in the Speakers office say that they were talking to the Speaker about abandoning the spending agreement that Johnson announced earlier in the week. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

Sam Altman Reveals What Keeps Him Up At Night

2 min read

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Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI who’s now the poster child of the artificial intelligence revolution, has shared what exactly keeps him up at night.

Speaking virtually at the World Government Summit 2024 in Dubai, Altman spoke with the UAE’s Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence Omar Al Olama about large language models, AI regulation, as well as challenges the AI industry faces. 

During the 20-minute talk, Al Olama asked Altman: “What keeps you going in the morning and what keeps you up at night?”

To which Altman replied: “The ‘keep up at night’ is easy – it’s all of the sci-fi stuff,” he said.

“I think sci-fi writers are very smart… there have been unbelievably creative ways to imagine how things can go wrong.”

“I’m not that interested in killer-robots-walking-down-the-street direction of things going wrong. I’m much more interested in very subtle social misalignments: where we have these systems in society through no particular ill intention, but things just go horribly wrong,”

Sam Altman and AI

Throughout 2024, the OpenAI ‘chief disruptor’ has continued to make tech headlines with his ambitious AI endeavours.

In early February, the Wall Street Journal reported that Altman plans to raise US$5 trillion (AU$7.7 trillion) to US$7 trillion (AU$10.8 trillion) for an AI semiconductor chip venture.

“What keeps me up in the morning is the [belief] that we are going to go tremendously right. We got to work hard and mitigate all of the downsides,” Altman answered the Dubai Minister.

“I think we can easily imagine a world, in the not-so-distant future where everybody’s got a better life than people have today,” he added.

“If everybody has access to abundant amounts of really high-quality [artificial] intelligence to create whatever they want – that’s pretty amazing.”