Tech bros do batshit crazy stuff in the Silicon Valley. Dopamine fasting. Drug microdosing. Consciousness hacking. Organized intimacy at drug-charged, sex-crazed parties. Secret apps where crazy rich nerds confess dark thoughts instead of seeing a therapist. A whole fucken' religion to "promote the realization of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence." And of course, secret societies?
You name it, they got it. Add the name of OpenAI co-founder and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever to that list. The guy – who led a board revolution to the firing of fellow co-founder and CEO Sam Altman, mass employee resignation, and subsequently apologized for his actions – sounds like one such AI-crazed dude.
According to The Atlantic, Sutskever was more concerned with the development of a humanity-assisting AGI (Artificial General Intelligence), a form of AI that is capable of near human-level intellect and reasoning. But under Altman's leadership, the company went from non-profit to increasingly profit-seeking.
But Ilya took his job a bit too seriously, and into the realms of crazy-man-stuff. For their leadership offsite this year, Sutskever apparently decided to go all out and commissioned a wooden effigy from a local artist. And get this, it was supposed to represent an "unaligned" AI, you know, the kind that doesn't give a hoot about human objectives.
And what did he do with it? Well, he set it on fire, because apparently, that's how you show your commitment to founding principles these days. But that's not all. It seems Sutskever had a little transformation of his own. Suddenly, he started acting like some sort of spiritual leader, or so say three employees who had the privilege of working with him.
"Feel the AGI," became his favorite catchphrase, as if the company was on the verge of achieving some kind of divine enlightenment. And let's not forget the grand spectacle at OpenAI's 2022 holiday party, hosted at the California Academy of Sciences.
Sutskever led the charge with a chant: "Feel the AGI! Feel the AGI!" It was so epic that they even had to create a special "Feel the AGI" reaction emoji in Slack. Because, you know, nothing says groundbreaking technology like a good old chant and some emoji magic!
By the way, this guy is one of the top minds in the field. A former research scientist at Google DeepMind and co-founder of OpenAI, he found a place in the TIME 100 list this year. One of the most widely-cited names in the game, his intellect led to the creation of magical tools like ChatGPT and text-to-image generator Dall-E.