Taking to the stage of Cannes Lions 2023 on Day 2, OpenAI’s Chief Operating Officer, Brad Lightcap stated that one need not be scared that AI will jeopardise an individual’s job and the emerging technologies will only change the nature of work and enhance people's ability to create and explore ideas or push the limits of imagination which will ultimately lead to a creative explosion.
Kickstarting the interactive session on ChatGPT, DALL.E and Future of Creativity, Margaret Johnson, Chief Creative Officer and Partner, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, questioned Lightcap on his current position and the focal areas for him at Open AI.
Lightcap stated that being the COO of the organisation, his job is to fulfil the second part of OpenAI’s mission which is to build Artificial General Intelligence and oversee its deployment- which essentially means bringing the technology to life and building tools on top of the technology that people can use to enhance their productivity, create new things, and ultimately bring more value to the world.
“One of the things that really matters to us is how is our culture, our history, our language is represented in the technology. And one of the nice things about the technology is that it's a very iterative technology which is why we’re constantly trying to improve it and eventually we'll have the technology improved and iterated on at a very high rate, making our ability to incorporate language, culture and history through technology feel very authentic, local, and in resonance with the values of people across the world,” he said.
He then went on to add that OpenAI has a “really big and very broad thinking and broad-ranging policy effort” when it comes to addressing what democratic systems look like for technology which is why the focus is not just on regulating the technology but also governing it by incorporating perspectives with diverse inputs and set of values into the same.
Addressing the elephant in the room by replying to Johnson’s question on whether AI is going to take people’s jobs away, Lightcap debunked the reports which claim that it will do so and stated that in his viewpoint, technology will only change the nature of work and not eat people’s jobs.
“When the PC was invented, it only changed how we create or work and similarly when we invented CGI, better forms of animation, better forms of remixing sound and video, these tools became critical to the industry. I think AI will just be another tool along that line,” he said.
Upon being questioned as to whether one should think of these tools as creative entities, or do they actually need humans to be creative, he replied that no matter how AI advances in future, at the end of the day, it will still fundamentally need humans to be creative as they are the ones who will guide the technology.
“It all starts with human imagination and with our input to the technology in terms of what we want it to do for us. On the other side, when these models produce an asset, it’s about what do we want to do with that asset and how can we make the changes and alterations to make it useful for our final product,” he said.
He then went on to clarify another myth that eventually we all will be competing in terms of our ability to write prompts and stated that this won’t be the case because the ability will now be to fuse and enhance dramatically across different disciplines.
“Originality, going forward, is really going to be in the breadth of what can get created. What’s limited today is time, resources and budgets, and so if you can in some way reduce the barrier to entry in terms of the inputs for the creative process, you can get a proliferation of outputs and therefore can explore the idea maze that's just much wider,” he said.
Commenting on the evolution of OpenAI tools such as DALL.E and ChatGPT, Lightcap emphasised that the vision is to continue and push on making the models better by diversifying the input, albeit data or language, that is taken to train the models which people often use to make content more local and personalise their experiences and not just make them affordable but also improve the quality.
“The systems will get more powerful over time, which is why, it is really on us to develop these systems responsibly and that is one of the big things that is encoded into OpenAI’s structure- an emphasis on what we call safety and alignment. If we can get that right, the sky is the limit for these systems. It will not just incrementally better copywriting, but can possibly help find cures for cancer, solve climate change, discover new science, etc. which is OpenAI’s mission,” he said.