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Is AI excessively hyped? Insights shared by OpenAI COO Brad Lightcap

Amid the fervor surrounding Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its transformative potential, OpenAI’s Chief Operating Officer, Brad Lightcap, recently provided insights that tempered expectations in an interview with CNBC. Lightcap cautioned against the widespread belief that AI could rapidly revolutionize businesses in one sweeping motion.

Highlighting a common misconception, Lightcap expressed, “I think the overhyped aspect is that, in one fell swoop, it can deliver substantive business change.” He elaborated on the frequent encounters with companies expecting immediate and comprehensive solutions from AI. “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.’ And there’s almost never a silver bullet answer there.”

Lightcap highlighted the complexities inherent in the business landscape, emphasizing the limitations of AI as it stands today. “There’s never one thing you can do with AI that solves that problem in full. And I think that’s just a testament to the world being really big and messy, and that these systems are still evolving, they’re still really in their infancy.”





OpenAI COO Brad Lightcap on ChatGPT creator's startup fund
OpenAI COO Brad Lightcap on ChatGPT creator’s startup fund

However, Lightcap also shed light on a lesser-told narrative, identifying an underappreciated aspect of AI’s impact. He highlighted the significant level of empowerment and enablement these systems offer to individual users. “The thing that we do see, and I think where they are underhyped, is the level of individual empowerment and enablement that these systems create for their end users.”

Acknowledging the untold stories of users experiencing newfound capabilities akin to ‘superpowers,’ Lightcap stressed how AI tools enable tasks that were previously inaccessible. “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.”

Meanwhile, Lightcap did not comment much on the boardroom drama that ensued last month at OpenAI, with Sam Altman being fired and then subsequently returning as CEO. “The last couple of weeks brought the company together in a way that is hard to describe. I feel a tremendous amount of gratitude to our team and a deep appreciation for our customers and partners, who were incredibly supportive throughout,” he said.

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