Paul Graham calls AI ‘the exact opposite of a solution in search of a problem’

Earlier this year, he was a co-founder of OpenAI described How their artificial intelligence project broke various Silicon Valley rules on its way to a near $30 billion valuation.

“You’re supposed to have a problem to solve, not a technology looking for the solution,” said CTO Greg Brockman. Tell the maybe podcast in May. In OpenAI’s early days, he said, leaders spent months “just writing all the different ideas we could work on for both GPT-3 and GPT-4… maybe we could do something medical or something legal.”

Instead they decide to ignore the rule entirely – to great success. As it turns out, “every company, every individual, every business is a language business,” Brockmann explained. “So if you can add a little bit of value in existing language workflows, you’ll be able to adopt it widely.”

This week, famed venture capitalist Paul Graham offers his take on artificial intelligence — while recalling some of the same language Brockmann used.

“Artificial intelligence is the exact opposite of a solution looking for a problem,” he said books on X. “It’s the answer to so many more problems than its developers know it exists.”

In 2005, Graham co-founded Y Combinator, a highly successful startup accelerator that helped AirbnbAnd tapeand other startup companies.

he I continued,” a pattern I’ve noticed in the current YC group: A large number of domain experts in all kinds of different fields have found ways to use AI to solve problems that people in their fields have long known about, but haven’t been able to solve. The artificial is the missing piece in a plethora of important, almost unfinished puzzles.”

He didn’t share any examples, but when a user replied that “the supply chain and procurement industry really needs this,” Graham replied, “I met two startups that are using AI just for today.”

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, who in 2014 replaced Graham as head of Y Combinator, has also focused on his unconventional venture approach as a startup.

“OpenAI has opposed all of YC’s advice,” he said He said During an onstage interview at an event hosted by fintech company Stripe in May. In addition to taking four and a half years to launch a product and being the most capital-intensive startup in Silicon Valley history, he said, “We were building technology without any idea who our customers were or what they were going to use it for.”

Today, of course, thanks in large part to the AI ​​gold rush that OpenAI started with the launch of ChatGPT late last year, it’s so difficult to keep track of all the activity of an AI startup that one might reasonably turn to an AI chatbot for help. . But Graham points out that it’s not just hype.

“It’s not intrinsically a fad or a sign of opportunism that there are suddenly an overwhelming number of startups that are all in the AI ​​space.” books. “There were simply too many almost solvable problems that are now solvable.”

This story originally appeared on Fortune.com

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