Experts say OpenAI in ‘precarious position,’ ‘might become next WeWork’

OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, might not be faring as well as its $80 billion valuation would lead most analysts to believe, according to some artificial intelligence (AI) experts.

Carlos Perez, author and founder of Intuit Machines, expressed his suspicion that “OpenAI is in a precarious position in its perceived leadership in the AI space” in a March 1 post on the X social media platform. He went on to opine that “there are several indicators that show that their execution is unraveling.”

Source: @IntuitMachine

In explaining his position, Perez cited numerous possible impact factors, including uncompetitive pricing, the potential for diminishing returns, the perceived absence — or apathy — of company co-founder Ilya Sutskever, employee turnover and “piss poor execution.”

Piss poor execution

Source: @IntuitMachine

Perez’ comments come on the heels of reports that Elon Musk has filed suit against OpenAI and its CEO, Sam Altman.

Musk’s lawsuit claims that OpenAI, a company he co-founded, has broken its promise to stay “open” — a term referring to developing technology solutions that are then made available to the open-source community.

According to the suit, OpenAI “deviated from its foundational principles of advancing open-source artificial general intelligence (AGI) for the benefit of humanity” when it collaborated with Microsoft.

The next WeWork?

New York University’s Gary Marcus, a bestselling author and AI expert who recently gave testimony before the United States government on the dangers of AI, weighed in on Perez’ sentiments with a cheeky comparison to WeWork.

Source: @GaryMarcu

WeWork, a unicorn startup once valued at nearly $50 billion, ultimately declared bankruptcy. Many experts attribute the company’s fall to the fact its growth was largely fueled by taking on debt.

OpenAI’s growth has, arguably, been fueled by its ChatGPT service and cash injections from its corporate partner, Microsoft.

AGI, but for who?

According to the company’s charter, its main focus is on developing AGI — machines which would be capable of performing any task a human could do given the proper resources — for the benefit of humanity.

However, Musk claims that the company isn’t actually working on AGI to benefit humanity anymore, and as such, he is requesting that the courts issue an injunction that would force OpenAI to stop “exploiting” AGI for profit.

This could prove to be tricky for the courts as there’s no legal or scientific definition of what, exactly, constitutes AGI or even AGI-adjacent technology.

In a scenario where the courts find that OpenAI must cease operating its services, the company could lose its primary revenue streams as well as its first-mover advantage.

Furthermore, third-party services built on top of OpenAI’s models would likely be catastrophically impacted. In the crypto world, for example, shuttering ChatGPT could end up killing off a significant number of automated trading services, customer service bots and AI-powered analysis tools.

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