OpenAI CEO and COO for the first time in a joint conversation: Can reduce the cost of AI to near 0

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Taiwo Oluwole

Recently, Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, and Brad Lightcap, COO, were interviewed together on the investor podcast VC20. This is the first time Sam and Brad have joined together for an external exchange since OpenAI was founded more than 8 years ago.


In this exchange, regarding the current concerns of OpenAI,Sam said that today, more than ever, macroeconomic aspects including geopolitics and socioeconomics are unstable, which is a key limitation or the root cause of the development of AI.


Sam is reportedly the co-founder and CEO of OpenAI, which he co-founded with Musk and others - one of the fastest-growing companies in history, with a recent market capitalization of $90 billion and more than $2 billion in annual revenue. Prior to OpenAI, Sam served as President of Silicon Valley incubator Y Combinator and made early investments in Airbnb, Stripe, Reddit, and other tech companies.


Brad Lightcap is COO (Chief Operating Officer) at OpenAI, responsible for the company's sales, marketing, partnerships, and operations. Prior to OpenAI, Brad worked as an investor at Y Combinator, where he met Sam, and earlier as Head of Finance and Operations at Dropbox.


During the conversation, Brad Lightcap said that enterprise supply chains are in great need of AI technology additions, and wanted to put ChatGPT technology into business processes to realize a very quantifiable ROI. Today, ChatGPT put into specific processes in supply chain management can cut spending in specific areas by 20 percent. However, the enterprise adoption cycle is slow, and ChatGPT Enterprise is still slowly getting off the ground.


In the future,Sam believes that the cost of computing will continue to fall. The value of AI will continue to rise as models become better and better. We (OpenAI) can bring the cost of very high-quality AI technology down to near zero, which would be very beneficial for most things in the world.


"If we don't make enough computing resources, if supply and demand are out of balance, or if the cost of computing climbs, this will lead to very high AI costs." Yet Sam believes that the cost of AI technology will become cheaper in the future.


What we have at ChatGPT will be a "once-in-a-lifetime technology revolution" that will drive the rapid development of AI technology, said Altman. In the future, basic models, open-source models, and both may exist at the same time.


"We're in the midst of a really, really big technological revolution.AI is going from something very limited, where smart people have AI, to a world where people have access to rich and very cheap AI technology that will allow the whole world to do more amazing things," said Sam Altman.


Both Sam and Brad agree that the loss of top researchers, research culture, or the lack of adequate computational resources will severely hinder OpenAI's progress.They discussed the huge need for computing power for AI models and emphasized that while there are only a few strategic decisions made throughout the decision-making process, there are a large number of small, day-to-day decisions that need to be made in order to successfully implement them.


It's worth noting, according to Sam, that most members of OpenAI's leadership team are in the 30 years old and 40 years old age bracket, unlike other startups where most leaders are in their 20 years old and 30 years old. Similarly, the average age of their technical staff is slightly higher. part of the reason for this, according to Sam, is that the road to becoming a good researcher is a very long one.


Altman emphasized that OpenAI's models are going to get better and better, and that 95% of the world should bet on OpenAI. "We're on a mission and we're going to crush you [other AI modeling companies]."