Sam Altman says this movie about an AI chatbot was 'prophetic' – The Business Journals

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has opinions about how Hollywood portrays science fiction, and he thinks there’s one film, in particular, that accurately predicts the future of chatbots.
Altman was chatting onstage with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff during a one-on-one session about “the future of trusted AI” when Benioff asked Altman to opine on how artificial is portrayed onscreen in science fiction.
“When you watch all these kind of unusual movies about artificial intelligence, you know, ‘Minority Report’ or ‘War Games’ … there’s been so many of them,” Benioff said. “Which one is your favorite?”
Altman’s response?
“Her,” a 2013 Spike Jonze film starring Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson about a man who falls in love with a conversational operating system, or what we would now call an AI personal assistant, named “Samantha.”
“Which part is going to happen? Which part do you think will never be real?” Benioff asked.
“I think it’s unfair to dunk on old sci-fi for all the parts they got wrong,” Altman said, but “what’s amazing is that people get it right, at all, and the number of things that I think ‘Her’ got right that were not obvious at the time, like the whole interaction model with how humans are going to use an AI, this idea that it’s going to be this conversational language interface. That was incredibly prophetic.”
Killer robots are less realistic, he continued.
“This idea that we all have a personalized agent trying to help us and we talk to it, like we talk to Chat-GPT, that was actually not what most movies thought,” Altman said. In movies, “if we interact with an AI at all, it’s like the robot’s shooting us or something … I think ‘Her’ got something deeply right on the interface, and that is no small feat.”
People have created digital avatars as doppelgangers and simulacrums of real-life for decades, but the experiences are becoming more realistic as generative AI tools become more accessible.
A San Francisco startup called Luka has created Replika, an app that allows its users to create an “AI companion that cares.” It’s “always here to listen and talk. Always on your side,” Replika’s website says. The company has raised around $11 million since 2014, according to PitchBook.
Earlier this year, Luka released a new app called Blush that allows users to have a more romantic, flirty and even NSFW experience with chatbots, TechCrunch reported
And on 2018, a Japanese man made headlines for unofficially marrying a blue-haired fictional character named Hatsune Miku that he said had “pulled him out of a deep depression,” the NYT reported last year. The man “found love, inspiration and solace” through his relationship with the character.
“He knows that Miku isn’t real. But his feelings for her are,” the NYT wrote.
Last year, Google fired Blake Lemoine, an engineer who publicly claimed the company’s conversational AI system was sentient.
Lemoine was working on a responsible AI team at Google and was responsible for testing the system for discrimination and hate speech. He also asked the system about religion and started to believe it was truly intelligent.
“Our team — including ethicists and technologists — has reviewed Blake’s concerns per our AI Principles and have informed him that the evidence does not support his claims. He was told that there was no evidence that LaMDA was sentient (and lots of evidence against it),” a Google spokesperson told the Washington Post about a month before Google fired Lemoine.
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