OpenAI exec says this is the most overhyped — and underhyped — thing about AI right now

OpenAI exec says this is the most overhyped — and underhyped — thing about AI right now
There are certain aspects of AI that are overhyped and underhyped, according to OpenAI COO.Jonathan Raa/Getty Images
  • The COO of OpenAI gave his thoughts on the hype around AI.
  • Some companies expect AI to be an ultimate solution, but it doesn't work like that, he said.

Even someone at the forefront of the artificial intelligence boom can admit it's not a one-size-fits-all solution.

OpenAI chief operating officer Brad Lightcap recently explained the — at times unrealistic — expectations companies place on the ChatGPT maker in an interview with CNBC. For Lightcap, the most overhyped aspect of AI is that it can completely transform a business "in one fell swoop."

"We talk to a lot of companies that come in and they want to kind of hang on us the thing that they've wanted to do for a long time — 'We want to get revenue growth back to 15% year over year,' or 'We want to cut X million dollars of cost out of this cost line,'" the exec explained.

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Although generative AI has had a meteoric rise in the year since ChatGPT was launched, Lightcap says "there's never one thing you can do with AI" that will solve such business problems in full.

But, he said most people are underestimating "the level of individual empowerment and enablement" that AI creates for users.


It's not just large corporations, but also aspiring entrepreneurs hoping to use ChatGPT to make money. One user asked the program to help him create a successful business with only $100. It provided helpful tips, but he's not raking in millions yet.

"That story is not told, and the things that we hear from our users or customers are about people who now have superpowers because of what the tools allow them to do, that those people couldn't previously do," Lightcap told CNBC.

Such superpowers are being wielded by workers, business owners, and students to bolster productivity and take shortcuts on tasks thanks to programs like ChatGPT. Morgan Stanley predicts that AI tools will increase earnings for jobs across industries by at least $83 million by 2030.

However, there are naysayers who fear generative AI will be used for more supervillain-type activities, like stealing artwork or replacing jobs.

Even "AI godfather" Geoffrey Hinton has expressed concerns about AI's place in the world as its capabilities continue to grow. Its superpower abilities might one day solve all business problems, but Lightcap says it's not there yet.