Sam Altman
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman says hiring AGI as a co-worker will be possible in the future. Wikimedia Commons

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is catching flak lately for predicting that AGI could be hired as a co-worker in the future. The top executive made these comments in a recent interview with the New Yorker.

The report says Altman is capable of bringing AGI (artificial general intelligence) into our work environment. The 38-year-old entrepreneur claims AGI "is the equivalent of a median human that you could hire as a coworker".

Critics see Altman's comments as implying that AGI will effortlessly replace people with a medium level of skill and intelligence. To those unaware, AGI is not similar to generative AI.

Apparently, AGI alludes to a human-level AI machine. This model is capable of displaying human-like intelligence, emotions and performance. In fact, the model can be trained to be an investor, driver, illustrator, therapist, doctor and more.

It doesn't come as a surprise that people are watching Altman's words very closely, given the power he holds in AI space today. To recap, OpenAI was founded by Altman, Elon Musk, and Reid Hoffman back in 2015. It was initially a non-profit.

OpenAI's investors were able to earn up to 100 times their investment after 2020, thanks to the company's structure. The folks at Business Insider pointed out that Altman referred to the term "median human" in 2022 during an interview on the Lex Fridman podcast.

Altman believes AGI would be able to "do anything that you'd be happy with a remote coworker doing just behind a computer, which includes learning how to go be a doctor, learning how to go be a very competent coder".

Why are people angry?

Director of research at the Oxford Internet Institute Brent Mittelstadt told Insider: "Comparing AI to even the idea of median or average humans is a bit offensive. I see the comparison as being concerning and see the terminology as being concerning too."

Altman has previously said he wants AGI to benefit humanity. "Because the upside of AGI is so great, we do not believe it is possible or desirable for society to stop its development forever; instead, society and the developers of AGI have to figure out how to get it right," he said in the blog.

Governments worldwide are sparing no effort in a bid to restrict generative AI since AI experts claim the technology will bring some challenges, coupled with some significant changes. However, it is unclear if we should take the prospects of AGI seriously, considering it hasn't been developed yet.

AGI and job loss

Earlier this year, Altman eased fears about AI destroying the job market, but there is still a possibility that human beings would lose jobs. Despite being less powerful than AGI, Generative AI will cost humans 300 million jobs, according to data shared by Goldman Sachs.

According to a recent report by McKinsey, AI is capable of achieving human-level performance faster than scientists had previously predicted. The report goes on to predict that AI will perform at the median level of human performance by 2030.