Good Chance, Says Former OpenAI Researcher

If it feels like we’re all living in a sci-fi movie that’s ready to careen off a cliff into AI oblivion, don’t blame Leopold Aschenbrenner.

His firsthand take on the potential devastation ahead — courtesy of AI — leaves him no choice but to sound the alarm.

A former researcher for OpenAI — maker of ChatGPT — Aschenbrenner warns that AI is moving so fast, we could see AI that’s as smart as an AI engineer by 2027.

Even more head-turning: Once AI is operating at that intellectual level, it’s just another jump or two — perhaps another few years — until we literally have “many millions” of virtual AI entities that have taken over the ever-increasing sophistication of AI, Aschenbrenner says.

Observes Aschenbrenner: “Rather than a few hundred researchers and engineers at a leading AI lab, we’d have more than one hundred thousand times that—furiously working on algorithmic breakthroughs, day and night.

“Before we know it, we would have super-intelligence on our hands — AI systems vastly smarter than humans, capable of novel, creative, complicated behavior we couldn’t even begin to understand.”

In essence, AI will have created its own digital civilization.

And it’s highly feasible that civilization would be populated by “several billions” of super-intelligent AI entities, according to Aschenbrenner.

The stomach-churning problem with that scenario: Given the human greed to possess such vast AI power unilaterally, it’s very likely that the U.S. could find itself in an all-or-nothing race with China to dominate AI.

Even worse: The U.S. could find itself in an all-out war with China to dominate AI.

Granted, it seems that for every in-the-know AI researcher like Aschenbrenner, there’s another equally qualified AI researcher who insists those fears are extremely overblown.

Yann LeCun, chief AI scientist at Meta — Facebook’s parent company — for example, believes that such AI gloom-and-doom nightmares are misguided and premature.

Even so, Aschenbrenner has staked his professional reputation on his assertions.

And he’s offered his complete analysis of what could be in a 156-page treatise entitled, “Situational Awareness: The Decade Ahead.”

(Gratefully, Aschenbrenner’s tome is rendered in a conversational, engaging and enthusiastic writing style.)

For close followers of AI who are looking to evaluate a definitive perspective on how our world could be completely transformed beyond our imaginations — within the next decade — Aschenbrenner’s treatise is a must-read.

In other news and analysis on AI writing:

*In-Depth Guide: Blaze AI — The Brand Whisperer You Didn’t Know You Needed?: Writer Ana Gajic takes a deep dive into this AI writer, which features prose rendered in your brand’s voice.

It also has the ability to repurpose a single piece of text into a number of formats including blogs, ads, posts for TikTok, Instagram, similar social media, FAQs and more.

Gajic’s verdict: “Blaze AI is an excellent writing assistant, capable of producing high-quality content that matches your brand’s voice.”

*The Case for a Marketing-Specific AI Writer: With scores of AI writers competing for the attention of marketers, it only makes sense to check-out AI writers specifically designed for marketing needs, according to this Anyword blog post.

Such customized tools often offer you custom prompts for marketers, tools for quickly rendering marketing texts in a wide variety of formats and an ongoing, ever-deepening understanding of your business.

Not surprisingly, Anyword is specifically designed for the kind of automated writing marketers prefer.

So it’s a good benchmark to use while evaluating the myriad selection of marketing AI writers currently available.

*Meet the McDonald’s of AI Writers: Ready to Serve Billions: Add ‘Scott’ to the increasing number of AI writers designed to regurgitate the news and data it finds on the Web into hundreds of blogs on a daily basis.

Often scorned by writers who do original reporting, many believe such auto-writers too often emphasize quantity over quality.

Bottom line: Writers and editors need to keep tools like Scott on their radar — lest their future career prospects vaporize.

*Adobe’s Latest AI Update: Because Writers Need Pretty Pictures Too: Writers looking for supporting images and supporting video will want to check-out Adobe’s update to Adobe Express.

Designed for use by pros and laymen alike, the tool has been reworked so that much of the image and video creation is AI-automated.

With the AI make-over, Adobe is also promising to roll-out a specially designed extension of Express, which will seamlessly integrate into Microsoft Copilot — Microsoft’s answer to ChatGPT.

*Amazon Web Services Gets Its Own AI Ghost-in-the-Machine: Writers and editors working in the Amazon Web Services universe now have access to a new AI auto-writing and AI automation tool.

Dubbed ‘Automation Anywhere,’ the app is designed to create AI assistants that can auto-generate content, summaries, respond to questions and automate other tasks using an enterprise’s data.

Automation Anywhere is specifically designed to work in concert with Amazon Q.

*Virtual AI Coaches — Based on Real People — Come to LinkedIn: If you’ve ever wished you could get career advice — or help with a cover letter — from a career coach like Lisa Gates, you’re in luck.

LinkedIn has just added an AI version of Gates — as well as similar career coaches — to its service, which you can consult to help you on the job, or help you get your next job.

The new AI mentors — along with additional AI tweaks to LinkedIn — “showcase a massive push by LinkedIn to capitalize generative AI,” according to writer Amanda Hoover.

*Siri Gets A Brain Transplant: Writer Joanna Stern offers an in-depth look in this piece at Apple’s decision to fully integrate ChatGPT into its products — and how the move will impact its smartphones, iPads and Mac computers.

The ChatGPT upgrades promised in coming months include:

~An AI writer for auto-generating text and summaries — as well as proofreading

~A much smarter Siri (Apple’s onboard Q&A personality), aided by ChatGPT

~Voice transcription, automated images, automated message summaries and more

*Yahoo’s New AI Email: An Inbox That Can Think for You: In yet another example of the ‘AI Everywhere’ trend, Yahoo is deeply integrating AI into its mail services.

Users can expect:

~AI-generated, one-line summaries of each email you receive

~Auto-generated proposed actions, tasks and/or responses for each email you receive

~Similar automated or semi-automated features for your emails

Observes Kyle Miller, a vice president at Yahoo: “People are craving better ways to streamline the daily activities that often bog us down — like managing multiple email accounts, sorting-out their schedules, reading through long messages and tracking orders.

“The new features we’re launching are aimed at making life that much easier for anyone that relies on email — which of course is practically everyone.”

*New Plan for the Rocket Man: Members of the U.S. Space Force now have their own, in-house AI tool to auto-generate text summaries, get IT assistance and auto-generate computer code.

Currently in experimental form, the tool is being rolled-out to asses how AI can be used to access and manipulate information by U.S. Space Force — and U.S. Air Force — members.

Observes Collen Roller, senior computer scientist, Air Force Research Laboratory: “The area’s changing so rapidly and fast, we have to be able to adapt to these new things that are coming out.

“It’s super important from a (research and development) standpoint that we’re able to adapt to whatever’s coming out so that we can evaluate these things for our specific use cases.”

*AI Big Picture: Dream Machine to Hollywood: AI’s Ready for Its Close-up: While many pros in the video and film-making world await the arrival of Sora — an in-development, AI text-to-video generator from ChatGPT’s maker — increasing numbers of competitors are popping-up with ready-to-go alternatives.

The latest: ‘Dream Machine,’ which is designed to auto-create five-second video clips based on a prompt you type-in.

Here’s a sample clip from Dream Machine: A dog in sunglasses tooling through a neon landscape in his car.

As with many things generative AI, if you’re good with words, chances are, you’ll be good with Dream Machine.

Plus, you’ll most likely be good with other text-to-video tools, too.

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Joe Dysart is editor of and a tech journalist with 20+ years experience. His work has appeared in 150+ publications, including The New York Times and the Financial Times of London.

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