OpenAI Replaces “Core Values” with New Ethical Guidelines

Oh, okay.

Artificial Intelligence in General

In recent weeks, OpenAI made a subtle change to its set of “core values” by including a strong emphasis on artificial general intelligence (AGI), a focus that was not explicitly stated before.

According to an article by Semafor, OpenAI’s core values, as recently as September 21, included terms such as “Audacious,” “Thoughtful,” “Unpretentious,” “Impact-driven,” “Collaborative,” and “Growth-oriented.” This information was obtained from a snapshot of the company’s job openings page on the Internet Archive.

However, if you visit the page now, you will find an entirely different set of core values. The new list now includes “AGI focus” as its top priority. The other core values added are “Intense and scrappy,” “Scale,” “Make something people love,” and “Team spirit.”

While some may argue that these values are just corporate jargon, it raises the question: if a company can easily replace its core values, were they truly core values to begin with?


Let’s take a closer look at the number one core value, “AGI Focus,” as it perfectly exemplifies how OpenAI’s preferred terms can feel like a work in progress.

In February, OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, wrote in a blog post that AGI can be broadly defined as “systems that are generally smarter than humans.” However, in a recent interview with New York Magazine, Altman revised the definition to AI that could serve as the “equivalent of a median human that you could hire as a co-worker.”

So, which definition does OpenAI and its CEO truly believe in? Do they think that AGI, their newly emphasized core value, will consist of AI surpassing human intelligence, or is it merely AI on par with an average person?

Shifting Tides

While we have reached out to OpenAI to seek clarification on this discrepancy, it might not be resolved anytime soon given the evolving nature of the company’s goals and values.

OpenAI was founded in 2015 as a nonprofit research lab with the aim of developing beneficial AI to counteract potentially harmful uses. However, the shift from nonprofit to for-profit has resulted in changes within the organization, leading to Elon Musk’s departure in 2019. This shift in purpose seems to have influenced OpenAI’s self-descriptions as well.

Although the new core values list may seem like vague rhetoric, it does reveal OpenAI’s unwavering focus on the future.

“We are fully committed to building safe, beneficial AGI that will have a significant positive impact on the future of humanity,” explains the OpenAI job postings page. “Anything that does not contribute to this goal is considered irrelevant.”

More on OpenAI: AI’s Electricity Consumption is Growing Rapidly, Potentially Matching the Energy Usage of an Entire Country

Editor Notes: OpenAI and the Future of AI

In the ever-evolving landscape of artificial intelligence, OpenAI stands out as a prominent player. With its new focus on artificial general intelligence (AGI), OpenAI aims to create AI systems that surpass human capabilities. This shift in values reflects the company’s determination to build cutting-edge technology that will have a positive impact on humanity’s future.

While there may be some ambiguity surrounding OpenAI’s definition of AGI, the core message remains clear: OpenAI is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of AI and ensuring its safety and benefits for society. As they continue to refine their goals and values, it will be fascinating to witness the progress and contributions of OpenAI in shaping the future of AI.

For more updates on the latest advancements in artificial intelligence and its impact on the world, visit GPT News Room.

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