Have you used ChatGPT? If you haven’t sought out AI yourself, you have probably heard of some form of it in your classes recently, whether it be ChatGPT’s language model or DALL-E 2’s art generator. In recent months, such engines have been increasing in mainstream popularity, making baseline artificial intelligence an up-and-coming digital staple. But is AI alone in the end, or is there something greater than this to look to?
As of right now, AI seems pretty sophisticated as it is. Based on OpenAI’s data on the new GPT-4 model, for instance, language models can even surpass most humans in areas such as professional work and academia. According to OpenAI’s website, after taking a simulated bar exam, GPT-4 achieved a score “around the top 10% of test takers.” Likewise, after taking AP exams across various subjects, GPT-4 received 5s and 4s in the vast majority of subject areas, only receiving a 2 in both AP Language and AP Literature. Although the two outlier scores could point to a lack of creativity, this shows GPT-4’s large degree of AI advancement in a broad range of areas, especially when compared to its preceding model, GPT-3.5. Within OpenAI’s reports on their GPT-4 testing, there is no shortage of comparisons to this model. Upfront, they even state that “GPT-4 is more reliable, creative, and able to handle much more nuanced instructions than GPT-3.5.”
However, though OpenAI has already acknowledged the magnitude of ChatGPT’s progress many times, looking at their website, it seems as if they are still looking forward to something greater. On the OpenAI website, under the “Safety” category, you will find the OpenAI Charter, which begins to make continuous references to something called “AGI.”
Defined by OpenAI as “highly autonomous systems that outperform humans at most economically valuable work,” AGI, or artificial general intelligence, according to techtarget.com, is the next and likely final step in the development of artificial intelligence. Noting how OpenAI references the economic side of such models, this could entail a future presence of AI in the workplace that could take on jobs formerly performed by human laborers. Contrary to this dismal-sounding future, though, OpenAI seems to be optimistic about the concept of AGI, vaguely stating that they will “make sure it is used for the benefit of all, and [ … ] avoid enabling uses of AI or AGI that harm humanity or unduly concentrate power.”
There have been many worries about this kind of artificial intelligence taking over the workplace, though, and OpenAI has acknowledged this many times on their website, responding to these concerns with a stated goal to “prioritize the development of safe and beneficial AI.” However, despite developers’ best efforts, this problem of science fiction has already seemed to become a reality in matters such as the rise of AI-generated art.
Right now, with AI art in plain sight all over Pinterest, it doesn’t take much sleuthing to find out peoples’ opinions on the matter. For instance, if you search up video game fanart on Pinterest, you may find posts such as this questionable image of Venti from the RPG Genshin Impact. In the comments is a slurry of mixed emotions about AI art, with one person angrily stating, “This is fire…put it out!” and another claiming more positively, “Tbh, even if it’s AI, it’s cute and I’m saving it.”With the discussion of ChatGPT continuing in classrooms across the country, OpenAI’s big dreams of AGI slowly becoming a reality and netizens debating over whether or not AI art is an acceptable medium, there is much evidence that our world could very well end up like the data globe in the song “Panopticom” by Peter Gabriel, with our indomitable organic landscape being reduced to a simple pool of collectable data to be fished into the grasp of AI tentacles. And when that day finally comes to fruition and much of what we know is computer-generated, the question that has lain dormant for so long will finally be acknowledged: “So how much is real?”
Image (by DALL-E 2): A blue and red city skyline with a giant futuristic eye looking down on it from the sky.