Sam Altman
Sam Altman challenges the misconception that AI is a "creature," instead framing it as a powerful tool. Wikimedia Commons

In a recent interview, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman challenged a common misconception about artificial intelligence (AI), stating that AI is not a "creature". That's the stuff of sci-fi movies, he added.

In an interview with The Advocate, an LGBTQ+ publication, Altman discussed a common misconception about AI. He explained that the super-hyped technology is often thought of as a "creature" with its own consciousness rather than a powerful tool with specific capabilities.

"It's a better movie plot if it's a creature in a sci-fi movie, for example. If you use ChatGPT, it's clearly a tool," Altman said. "The popular misconception of AI as sci-fi is very, very different from people who have been using it as a tool for a long time," he added.

Misconceptions about AI

While Altman acknowledged that the tool comes with "risks," he emphasised that these risks aren't similar to those typically associated with "creatures". There's a notable difference between the popular, science fiction-inspired perception of AI and the reality experienced by those who have been using AI as a tool for a while now.

In the interview, Altman indicated that what OpenAI is building is like a "tool," which the AI startup believes enables humans to do "amazing things". The top executive said: "Some categories that we're very excited about is education and what people are doing there with personalised tutoring. And AI in health care, with personalised medical advice."

If rumours making the rounds turn out to be true, OpenAI is developing an AI-powered web search engine that would challenge Google's dominance in the search engine space. Also, the word on the street is that Altman will be teaming up with Jony Ive and Apple iPhone design head Tang Tan to create new AI devices.

Altman also elaborated on the potential benefits of AI as a tool. He believes the newfangled technology can play a key role in enhancing creative endeavours, driving innovations and increasing efficiency. He suggested that these are just a few examples of the potential benefits associated with AI.

OpenAI CEO's varying stance on AI's Impact

However, it is worth noting that Altman's perspective on how AI could impact employment has changed over time. To recap, he previously expressed concerns about AI replacing human workers and mentioned the possibility of personalised AI-powered tutors.

In 2015, the AI leader went on to predict that "AI will probably most likely lead to the end of the world, but in the meantime, there'll be great companies".