hatGPT chief warns of some ‘superhuman’ skills AI could develop
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An artificial intelligence company’s CEO warns that AI systems could eventually be capable of persuading people like humans.

Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, the company behind the popular ChatGPT platform, said on social media last week that AI will be capable of superhuman persuasion well before it is capable of superhuman general intelligence.

According to him, such capabilities could have “some very strange outcomes.”

Altman’s comments come amid growing concerns about what rapidly developing AI technology might eventually be capable of, with some speculating that AI might surpass humans in cognitive ability.

Despite Altman’s lack of details on what “strange outcomes” might look like, some experts questioned whether such fears are legitimate.

“AI is a threat to persuasive systems, but not how people think. AI won’t reveal some subliminal message to turn people into mindless zombies,” Christopher Alexander, CEO of Pioneer Development Group, says.

Using machine learning and pattern recognition, an AI will be able to identify what persuasive content works, in what frequency, and at what time. This is already taking place with digital advertising. Newer, more sophisticated AI will get even better.

In regard to turning people into “mindless zombies,” Alexander argued that the technology already exists.

Aiden Buzzetti, president of the Bull Moose Project, questioned how close AI is to “superhuman persuasion” abilities, pointing out that current platforms like ChatGPT still have trouble providing “accurate information instead of hallucinating books, articles and movies just to come up with an answer that ‘seems correct.’

According to Buzzetti, it would be no different than being rhetorically gifted, except that some people may find technology more trustworthy because of its implicit nature.