Are We Close to AGI?

Is AGI here? Unraveling the Musk-OpenAI controversy; the future of work in an AGI era

Welcome to another edition of the best damn newsletter in AI.

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Here's what we're covering today:

  • Elon Musk sues OpenAI claiming AGI is here; OpenAI claps back while the AI community debates how close we truly are

  • Accenture makes a big bet on AI education and skills training with acquisition of Udacity

  • And we’re seeing a new wave of AI features that are worth checking out

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Let’s get to it! 👇



Are we close to AGI?

OK, let’s talk about this lawsuit by Elon Musk against OpenAI (and OpenAI’s response). It’s sparked a flurry of questions about Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) from you guys writing in.

How close are we?? And what are the implications for businesses??

In case you’re not up to speed, here’s the TLDR:

  • Elon claims OpenAI has reached AGI and isn’t being upfront about it

  • Elon’s angle hinges on the non-profit status of OpenAI

  • OpenAI snapped back with a public exposé of Elon pushing for OpenAI to merge with Tesla, amongst other things

We personally don’t believe AGI is here. But we would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge that things smell shady since the Thanksgiving Sam Altman outing, top AI researcher Andrej Kaparthy leaving OpenAI, rumors about more powerful models and breakthroughs… and now this.

While it’s up for debate whether AGI is within our grasp, we wanted to cover our thoughts on what it will mean and how it might transform the way we work.

What is AGI?

If you ask 100 AI researchers what AGI is, you’ll get at least 101 different answers.

But we propose a simple definition: AGI is a form of AI that can perform any task that an average human being can. (Emphasis on “ANY”).

Current AI models like GPT-4, Gemini Pro, and Claude are inching closer to this ideal, but they still lack key capabilities such as handling numbers, long-term planning, and complex reasoning.

We’re not at “ANY” yet.

How would AGI impact how we work?

But just because it’s not here yet, doesn’t mean that AGI (and AI more generally) isn’t making an impact. It is.

AGI’s predecessor (what we have now) is already automating tasks, making decisions, conducting research, drafting work, giving feedback and more.

What advancements would AGI bring?

Possibly the biggest jump from the AI we have today and what AGI will do for us in the future is its ability to handle more complex tasks. The generally accepted idea is that it’ll be able to do something like this, flawlessly:

  1. Be given a task

  2. Identify gaps in its knowledge, research further using both public domain and internal company knowledge

  3. Use these insights to make decisions and try to complete the work

  4. And if it fails, go back and seek more knowledge until it doesn’t

The key to using a system like this is in being specific about what you want the AI to do for you.

As Rachel is fond of saying "The future of work will be about deciding what you want done, and how you want it done, not doing it".

Preparing for AGI (no matter how far out it is)

We’ll say this until we’re blue in the face.

The most important skillset is to get good at articulating what needs to be done, and then reviewing and giving feedback on that work.

If you're early in your career, this is your chance to start understanding key concepts like delegating, creating processes and management (that's what it's going to be like to get the most out of AGI).

If you're farther along, or run a business, the skillsets you've honed to build a team and scale your impact are going to serve you well in an AGI future.

Even if AGI is years or decades out, it's clear that the journey between now and then will be one where AGI-ready skills will become even more valuable.


For your reading list 📚

We’re starting to see a new flavor of AI features…

Enterprise AI isn’t only about chatbots, we’re starting to see major investments in up-skilling as well…

And last but not least, AI’s impact on life as we know it is anything but small. Key issues we’re watching…

Have a burning AI question? Or stuck trying to help your team adopt AI?

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🪄 The AI Exchange Team