28. March 2023
In 2018, I had the incredible opportunity to share a stage with Prof. Dr. Jürgen Schmidhuber at an event organized by Geseke+Devient in Munich. As the CEO of a deep tech startup pioneering generative neural networks, a long time before hypes around technologies like ChatGPT, I was thrilled to present our work alongside Schmidhuber, who gave a talk on the evolution of technology and the acceleration of technological jumps leading up to the Omega Point. Schmidhuber is a worldwide pioneer in the field of AI, some of his concepts, like temporal memory strategies in AI (e.g., LSTMs, 1997), are used nowadays in applications such as Siri, Amazon recommendations, or social media to show targeted content.
Marian Gläser, CEO/Co-founder of brighter AI & Prof. Dr. Jürgen Schmidhuber
GPT-4 & the Omega Point
Fast forward to today, and I find myself astonished by the rapid advancements in artificial intelligence, particularly the progression from GPT-3 to GPT-4. This acceleration in AI development foreshadows the first steps towards the Omega Point, a concept that Schmidhuber also suggested could occur around 2040. The Omega Point is a theoretical event marking the convergence of history when the rate of technological progress approaches infinity, leading to rapid and unpredictable changes. Schmidhuber’s theory is based on historical developments following a binary scale marking exponentially declining temporal intervals, such as the invention of agriculture about 10,000 years ago and the rise of personal computers and the World Wide Web around 2000.
One groundbreaking development that has caught my attention is tests around GPT-4’s self-optimization and evolution capabilities (OpenAI, 2023). Basically, using the capabilities of GPT-4 of being able to provide programming code to improve itself in a continuous loop. In a recent experiment, researchers of the Artificial Research Center (ARC) simulated GPT-4 as an autonomous agent, exploring its ability to autonomously generate more money, create additional copies of itself, and increase its own robustness when given access to cloud computing, a small amount of money, and a language model API (OpenAI, 2023). GPT-4 has not achieved true self-optimization yet. However, the rapid progress in this area could exacerbate concerns about the potential consequences of GPT-4 and the future and AI.
Risks Associated with AI Development and GPT-4
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has warned of the risks associated with AI, particularly with the release of GPT-4, and has stressed the importance of regulation and societal involvement to mitigate potential negative consequences.
As AI evolves at an accelerated pace, AI-safeguard technologies, such as de-identification methods to protect faces and ensure data is not misused from high-scalable AIs, will become more critical than ever. Read about how brighter AI’s anonymization solutions redact personal information in image and video data while keeping key attributes for machine learning.
The potential implications of AI advancements, including the impact on society, the economy, and individual livelihoods, could generate anxiety. Many people may worry about the consequences of advanced AI surpassing human intelligence or the ability of society to adapt to the fast pace of technological change. Additionally, there might be concerns about potential job loss due to automation, ethical considerations surrounding advanced AI, and the broader societal implications of rapidly advancing technology.
In general, society should be very aware of the potential consequences of self-optimization and the rapid acceleration of AI development. It is crucial to recognize that the Omega Point and the technological singularity are speculative concepts. There is no definitive evidence or consensus on when, or even if, such events will occur. Schmidhuber acknowledges that his personal interest in witnessing the Omega Point may have influenced his interpretation of historical patterns.
Nonetheless, the ongoing acceleration of AI capabilities, as demonstrated by GPT-4, necessitates a proactive approach to regulation and oversight. It is essential to ensure that AI serves humanity’s best interests and that the benefits and risks are distributed fairly. Society must work together to address ethical concerns, implement safeguards, and create a framework for responsible AI development and deployment.
GPT-4 and the Future of AI
In conclusion, the rapid advancements in AI, particularly the significant progression from GPT-3 to GPT-4, underscore the importance of remaining vigilant and prepared for future challenges and opportunities. As we stand on the precipice of an unprecedented era of technological development, it is crucial that we take a collective, responsible approach to harnessing the power of AI while mitigating its risks.
By fostering open dialogue and collaboration between researchers, policymakers, industry leaders, and the public, we can navigate the complexities of this rapidly evolving landscape and work towards a future where AI serves as a powerful tool for human progress rather than a source of fear and uncertainty.
To achieve this vision, we must learn from the past, adapt to the present, and anticipate the future. By drawing on the wisdom of pioneers like Prof. Dr. Jürgen Schmidhuber, as well as the collective expertise of the global AI community, we can chart a course towards a more inclusive, ethical, and sustainable future—one in which AI technologies empower us to reach our greatest potential, rather than hastening our demise.
Ultimately, the journey toward the Omega Point is not one that we must undertake alone. Rather, it is a shared endeavor, requiring the collaboration and vigilance of all those seeking to harness AI’s immense power for the greater good. By working together, we can ensure that the potential dangers of self-optimization and the rapid acceleration of AI development are tempered by a steadfast commitment to responsible innovation and that the technologies we create serve as a force for progress rather than destruction.
• OpenAI. (2023). GPT-4 Technical Report. arXiv:2303.08774v2 [cs.CL].
• The Guardian. (2023). OpenAI CEO Sam Altman warns of artificial intelligence risks as company releases new GPT-4 model.