Chat GPT4: Is the world prepared for the coming AI storm? 320w, 480w, 624w, 800w, 976w” type=”image/webp”>Amy Webb during her keynote presentation at 320w, 480w, 624w, 800w, 976w” src=”” width=”976″ height=”549″ loading=”eager” class=”ssrcss-evoj7m-Image ee0ct7c0″ style=”margin:0px;padding:0px;border:0px;font:inherit;vertical-align:baseline;display:flex;width:800px;height:450px;overflow:hidden;position:absolute;inset:0px;-webkit-box-pack:center;justify-content:center;-webkit-box-align:center;align-items:center;object-fit:cover;” />IMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
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At SXSW, Amy Webb outlined her vision for where artificial intelligence could be headed in the next 10 years

Artificial intelligence has the awesome power to change the way we live our lives, in both good and dangerous ways. Experts have little confidence that those in power are prepared for what’s coming.

Back in 2019, a non-profit research group called OpenAI created a software program that could generate paragraphs of coherent text and perform rudimentary reading comprehension and analysis without specific instruction.

OpenAI initially decided not to make its creation, called GPT-2, fully available to the public out of fear that people with malicious intent could use it to generate massive amounts disinformation and propaganda. In a press release announcing its decision, the group called the program “too dangerous”.

Fast forward three years, and artificial intelligence capabilities have increased exponentially.

In contrast to that last limited distribution, the next offering, GPT-3, was made readily available in November. The Chatbot-GPT interface derived from that programming was the service that launched a thousand news articles and social media posts, as reporters and experts tested its capabilities – often with eye-popping results.

Chatbot-GPT scripted stand-up routines in the style of the late comedian George Carlin about the Silicon Valley Bank failure. It opined on Christian theology. It wrote poetry. It explained quantum theory physics to a child as though it were rapper Snoop Dogg. Other AI models, like Dall-E, generated visuals so compelling they have sparked controversy over their inclusion on art websites.

Machines, at least to the naked eye, have achieved creativity.

On Tuesday, OpenAI debuted the latest iteration of its program, GPT-4, which it says has robust limits on abusive uses. Early clients include Microsoft, Merrill Lynch and the government of Iceland. And at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, this week – a global gathering of tech policymakers, investors and executives – the hottest topic of conversation was the potential, and power, of artificial intelligence programs.

Arati Prabhakar, director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, says she is excited about the possibilities of AI, but she also had a warning.

“What we are all seeing is the emergence of this extremely powerful technology. This is an inflection point,” she told a conference panel audience. “All of history shows that these kinds of powerful new technologies can and will be used for good and for ill.”

Her co-panelist, Austin Carson, was a bit more blunt.

“If in six months you are not completely freaked the (expletive) out, then I will buy you dinner,” the founder of SeedAI, an artificial intelligence policy advisory group, told the audience.

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