An Open Letter to Sam Altman
Your post on X this morning raises many questions
Sam Altman took to X this morning to defend his $7 trillion fundraising ask against the likes of me, writing “you can grind to help secure our collective future or you can write substacks about why we are going fail”.
I have questions, lot of questions:
Why do you think that LLMs are going to “secure our collective future”? (Are you working on any technology other than LLMs?)
As Casey Newton recently argued “Generative AI clearly has many positive, creative uses... But looking back over the past year, it's clear that any benefits we have seen today have come at a high cost.”
How do we know that $7 trillion invested into LLMs and their infrastructure would not simply exacerbate those costs, grinding down content creators, women, and the environment, undermining democracy, destroying jobs, etc?
$7T might serve OpenAI well, and raise your public profile, but would it serve humanity? How certain of that bet can we be? What's the rush? (Also, what has the $100 billion grind on driverless cars brought society? Might people have rushed in too soon, technology-wise?)
The risk of premature commitment looms large.
– Gary Marcus