Despite the enthusiasm surrounding the development of the successor to OpenAI’s GPT-4, GPT-5 training has not yet begun, according to OpenAI CEO Sam Altman. This comes several months after OpenAI resolved to delay the release of the next version of its large language model, a decision prompted by industry executives and academics’ concerns over the rapid pace of AI development.
Speaking at a conference in India, Altman emphasized that significant preparatory work was necessary before the team could begin GPT-5. “We’re working on the new ideas that we think we need for it, but we are certainly not close to it to start,” he explained.
This development halt is in response to an open letter signed by over 1,100 individuals, including Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak. The letter requested that all AI laboratories suspend the training of AI systems more potent than GPT-4 for at least six months. While acknowledging the letter’s sentiment, Altman stated that it lacked technical nuance in areas where a halt was most necessary. OpenAI maintained its decision to postpone the training of GPT-5 for some time.
Altman’s remarks reveal an organization that is not only committed to technical excellence but also acutely aware of its responsibility to the AI community and society as a whole. He refuted the concerns of some outspoken AI commentators by stating that OpenAI was already assessing potential risks with meaningful measures such as external audits, red teams, and safety tests.
In addition, the time required to create and publish these innovative models should not be underestimated. Altman said, “When we finished GPT-4, it took us more than six months until we were ready to release it.” This exemplifies the meticulous care and consideration that OpenAI applies to its work, ensuring cutting-edge technology and trustworthy AI systems.
During his interactions, Altman’s stance on regulation also came into sharp focus. He opposed the regulation of smaller AI ventures and advocated for self-regulation, emphasizing that larger entities such as OpenAI should be the focus of regulatory efforts.
As part of his global outreach efforts, Altman has been actively interacting with legislators and industry leaders to establish confidence in OpenAI’s commitment to working with regulators. During these meetings, he has urged policymakers to consider the potential misuse and other disadvantages of AI proliferation with great care. He aims to ensure adequate safeguards are in place to prevent unintended consequences.
The journey towards GPT-5 may be on hold, but OpenAI’s efforts to cultivate a responsible and considerate AI landscape continue unabated. As the field of AI continues to evolve, it is evident that the decisions made today – to halt, prepare, and engage in meaningful dialogue – will substantially impact the future of AI.