GPT-4 ‘Kinda Sucks’ Admits Sam Altman, Says GPT-5 Will Be Better

Sam Altman, who was recently reinstalled back to OpenAI’s board of directors, has given a frank insight into ChatGPT, the Elon Musk lawsuit, and the future of AI with GPT-5.

In an interview with computer scientist and podcaster Lex Fridman, Altman had some surprising words about the GPT-4 AI model, when asked about its most impressive capabilities. He admitted he is over GPT-4 and said ‘I think it kind of sucks’.

OpenAI had upgraded its popular AI chatbot, ChatGPT, back in March 2023 when it launched the upgraded “large multimodal model” known as GPT-4.

Image credit: Matheus Bertelli/Pexels

GPT-4 model

It said at the time that the latest version of the groundbreaking AI system that powered ChatGPT, should be more creative, less likely to make up facts, and less biased than its predecessor.

Then in November 2023 OpenAI set about enabling custom versions of ChatGPT that could be tailored for specific tasks and made available on a GPT Store, as it sought to monetise the hugely popular AI service.

But such is the nature of this fast evolving technology, that Sam Altman is now over the current model, and is now looking forward to the next upgrade dubbed GPT-5, which some media reports have suggested may arrive sometime during 2024.

In his wide-ranging interview with Lex Fridman, Sam Altman was asked about the various AI models, and which version would provide in his opinion a “historic pivotal moment.”

“Maybe five will be the pivotal moment. I don’t know. Hard to say that looking forward,” replied Altman.

“We’ll never know. That’s the annoying thing about the future, it’s hard to predict. But for me, looking back, GPT-4, ChatGPT is pretty damn impressive, historically impressive. So allow me to ask, what’s been the most impressive capabilities of GPT-4 to you and GPT-4 Turbo?” asked Fridman.

“I think it kind of sucks,” replied Altman.

“No, I think it is an amazing thing, but relative to where we need to get to and where I believe we will get to, at the time of GPT-3, people are like, ‘Oh, this is amazing. This is marvel of technology.’” said Altman.

“And it is, it was. But now we have GPT-4 and look at GPT-3 and you’re like, ‘That’s unimaginably horrible.’ I expect that the delta between [GPT-]5 and 4 will be the same as between 4 and 3 and I think it is our job to live a few years in the future and remember that the tools we have now are going to kind of suck looking backwards at them and that’s how we make sure the future is better.”

“Look, I don’t want to downplay the accomplishment of GPT-4, but I don’t want to overstate it either,” Altman said later. “And I think this point that we are on an exponential curve, we’ll look back relatively soon at GPT-4 like we look back at GPT-3 now.”

Funding drive

Sam Altman is a busy man, and recently it was reported he is seeking between $5 and $7 trillion to overhaul semiconductor industry to remove AI chip limitations.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that the OpenAI head has been pursuing investors including the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government for a project possibly requiring as much as $7 trillion.

This project reportedly requires such a huge investment in order to reshape the global semiconductor industry, to overcome current limitations with AI chips.

Nvidia of course currently controls about 80 percent of that AI chip market, with a current market cap of about $1.72 trillion.

Nvidia’s H100 and A100 chips serve as a generalised, all-purpose AI processor for many of those major customers, and while Nvidia does not disclose H100 prices, each chip can reportedly sell from $16,000 to $100,000 depending on the volume purchased and other factors.

Meta for example has reportedly said it plans to bring its total stock to 350,000 H100s chips this year, demonstrating the hefty financial investment required to compete in this sector.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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