What No One Outside OpenAI Can Really Understand About OpenAI
It’s 2023. You’ve spent four years (or five or six, you can’t remember), working on something — one big goal. You always knew what you wanted (the happy end of history, or so you liked to think). And you knew why you wanted it. You were relentlessly and tirelessly trying to figure out the how.
Despite you were merely taking shots in the dark, your steely determination triggered a global paradigm shift. You had a discipline, luckily for you, blessed by the gods. You didn’t believe in those — you don’t believe in them now either — but your faith, placed somewhere else, was strong nonetheless. That sufficed.
Back in 2017, the days are much longer and boring. Nothing happened yesterday despite your efforts. Nothing, probably, will happen today. You try anyway because there’s not much else besides trying.
The morning started like any other but suddenly, in an unexpected turn of events, a door leading somewhere magical unlocks before you. Not fully understanding the implications of your discovery you cross the doorway, never to look back.
It’s 2019. Driven more by confidence in your instincts than faith you take another jump forward. Again, that uncanny sensation runs through your body — not of mere achievement, but of pure epiphanic bliss. Eureka!
A few years go by — 2023. You’re at the vanguard of the world. No one else is even trying to do what you are. You’ve become convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that the one big goal you once set up — and the longing for it — is about to be fulfilled.
You look back. Six years pass through your mind in the blink of an eye. Thoughts of incoming world-changing events fill your focused mind, blurring not only the future you naively perceived crystalline but also your conviction about the path you so carefully planned. People can’t begin to imagine what you’re about to unleash. You can’t either.
It doesn’t matter. You won’t stop now. You wanted this.
Steven Levy’s feature on OpenAI, “What OpenAI Really Wants,” is wonderful.
Whether you like the content or not, the way it’s written serves as a window to the soul of the company — not as an abstract entity…