Sam Altman’s Hidden Message at OpenAI DevDay Keynote

GPT-4 Turbo, GPTs, and the GPT Store are not the real state-of-the-art in AI

Alberto Romero


Sam Altman smiles after delivering his last message to his attentive audience during OpenAI’s DevDay keynote. Credit: OpenAI

Everyone, myself included, is excited to try and succeed with the new GPTs, i.e., OpenAI’s create-your-own-ChatGPT service that Sam Altman announced during the DevDay opening keynote (they’re available only for paying subscribers).

The possibility of making a customized quasi-AI agent is a game-changer. The capabilities of these GPTs are the same as the original ChatGPT but being able to create them by having a conversation in natural language is just awesome — the next level of no-code tools.

The GPT Store that the company will launch at the end of the month is great, too. As some have said, it’s the Apple App Store moment for AI. It is, at the same time, a death sentence to many thin-wrapper startups and a new window of opportunity for bold entrepreneurs who will take Sam Altman’s hint and stop disguising simple features as products and dare go big in the store.

But despite these two above-expectations announcements and the exciting future they paint for users and developers, there’s something much more important that Altman said during the keynote on November 6th whose relevance I’ve seen no one mention yet.

It went mostly unnoticed but at the end of the talk, he said, “What we launch today is going to look very quaint relative to what we’re busy creating for you now.”

Hear me out before you shout this is merely an empty promise.

In the mouth of any other tech CEO, these words may suggest a predictable path forward — even an empty promise. We all know what Satya Nadella or Sundar Pichai want for Microsoft and Google respectively. Their vision and projection are rather crystalline for anyone who has been following Big Tech for the last few years. Not many surprises in how they move and what they do.

We all know how Elon Musk plays with expectations to always underdeliver just to be forgiven afterward by his supporters time and again.

But not Sam Altman.

Altman is of a rare kind and I don’t mean this either flatteringly or contemptuously.