OpenAI’s co-founders Greg Brockman and Sam Altman aren’t afraid of Terminator robots. At TechCrunch Disrupt SF in October, they’ll tell our audience why it’s the more subtle repercussions of artificial general intelligence — like its impact on employment, cyberwarfare and concentration of power — that shake the duo.
But the epic potential for the technology to generate wide-scale abundance for humanity led Altman to leave his gig as the head of iconic accelerator Y Combinator to become CEO of OpenAI.
“I really do believe that the work we’re doing at OpenAI…will not only far eclipse the work I did at YC but the work that anyone in the tech industry does,” Altman said recently.
Brockman and Altman will join us onstage at Disrupt to talk about why they’re building potentially the most lucrative startup of all time, yet plan to cap returns for investors at 100X and donate the rest. They’ll reveal the challenges of hiring and raising capital when OpenAI has no idea how it will earn money. And we’ll discuss how humans will derive a sense of purpose and how capitalism will function if we manage to distribute the resources born from AI to provide for everyone… or if we don’t.
These are heady questions beyond the scope of most founders who are just trying sell something right now. Luckily, OpenAI’s founders are ridiculously smart. Brockman dropped out of both Harvard and MIT before becoming Stripe’s first CTO and built it up from four employees to a 250-person fintech powerhouse. Altman, meanwhile, dropped out of Stanford to demo his location-sharing app Loopt on Steve Jobs’ stage at WWDC 2008. And as the president of Y Combinator, he reviewed and mentored a thousand startups while turning the accelerator into an epicenter of innovation.
At Disrupt, expect an exciting chat filled with ideas that sound like science fiction jokes until you realize Brockman and Altman are actually serious. For example, to OpenAI’s investors, “We have made a soft promise that once we build a generally intelligent system, that basically we will ask it to figure out a way to make an investment return for you,” Altman said at a Strictly VC event this month.
We’ll ask about fellow OpenAI co-founder Elon Musk and why he stepped back from the company. Brockman will reveal what the latest in AI research means for the startup ecosystem. And Altman will give his reflections on YC as well as the big picture about how the world must prepare for the arrival of computers that are smarter than us, regardless of the timeline.
Disrupt isn’t merely about the unicorn businesses of today. We strive to give you an edge on tomorrow. And whether OpenAI invents general artificial intelligence or the company moves to support and safeguard whoever does, this panel will make sure you’re not stuck in yesterday.