Sam Altman Says He Intends to Replace Normal People With AI

That’s one way to talk about other human beings. As writer Elizabeth Weil notes in a new profile of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman in New York Magazine, the powerful AI executive has a disconcerting penchant for using the term “median human,” a phrase that seemingly equates to a robotic tech bro version of “Average Joe.” Altman’s hope is that artificial general intelligence (AGI) will have roughly the same intelligence as a “median human that you could hire as a co-worker.” It’s a disconcerting assertion, considering that it really sounds like Altman is looking to replace the work of normal people with a not-yet-realized AGI. And according to Insider, it’s not even the first time he’s said as much. In a 2022 interview on the Lex Fridman podcast, Altman explained that this theoretical AI 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.” In other words, if you happen to live a “median” life, you could soon be out of a job — or, at least, that’s one way to interpret his comments. Cheers to our AI future. As Insider and New York Mag both note, Altman isn’t the only person in the world of AI who uses the unsettling terminology. The phrase is present across an incredible number of AI blogs, and was even featured in a CNBC article titled “How to talk about AI…Sam Altman Says He Intends to Replace Normal People With AI

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