May 26, 2024

If you’re burnt out over generative AI hype, you’re not alone. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said GPT-4, his company’s latest and greatest AI model, actually kinda sucks in an interview with Lex Fridman published on Monday. In fact, Altman is hoping GPT-5 can live up to all the hype.

“I think it kind of sucks,” Altman said when asked about GPT-4 and its most impressive capabilities. “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 backward at them, and that’s how we make sure the future is better.”

Sam Altman: OpenAI, GPT-5, Sora, Board Saga, Elon Musk, Ilya, Power & AGI | Lex Fridman Podcast #419

Fridman, who had just finished praising GPT-4, was taken aback by Altman’s comments. Altman used the question to talk about how he’s way more excited about GPT-5, or whatever the next model is called. The OpenAI CEO noted his company would release a new version of ChatGPT in the next year, but didn’t specify what it would be called. Altman says this next model will be a similar leap forward that GPT-4 was.

“Look, I don’t want to downplay the accomplishment of GPT-4, but I don’t want to overstate it either,” Altman said. “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.”

Altman described a “glimmer of something amazing” in GPT-4, but noted that its best use case is often as a brainstorming partner. The OpenAI CEO noted that ChatGPT is rarely useful with complicated, multi-step problems. When it does work, it’s magic, but those cases are few and far between.

There’s been great speculation about OpenAI’s next model. Every day on X, people try to predict when exactly GPT-5, GPT 4.5, or GPT-4.5 Turbo will drop. Everyone is waiting for the AI model that actually makes our life better. Folks got especially excited when Bing mysteriously cached search results for GPT-4.5 Turbo on OpenAI’s website, though the company says this was not them and there are no upcoming releases planned.

The one model we do have some clarity on is Sora, OpenAI’s text-to-video generator that could be just months away, according to an interview with Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati. The model was teased back in February, and shocked the world with its realistic videos.

The GPT-4 model that allegedly “kinda sucks” has pushed OpenAI to 100 million weekly users and an $80 billion valuation. 

A version of this article originally appeared on Gizmodo.

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