Has humanity reached its limits to understand and manage accelerating change? After the reinstatement of the CEO at OpenAI, a legend in the investor community, had a lot to say about the dramatic events. “I didn’t in my remote imagination think that something like this could happen or that the board would do this. There were some errant people on the board who misinterpreted their own religion around effective altruism. I think this was errant, shocking, surprising in every way … totally unexpected under any circumstance.” He noted that the events signified an error by humans rather than AI.
As the debate raged on in 2023, it became clear that this was viewed as a face-off between techno optimists and techno-pessimists. Only a few people with moderate views spoke out. There was concern about the hubris of humans, rather than a robot rebellion. The story seems to be that the tech leaders and board members were taking on a messianic approach, further hinting at the limits of human complexity.
The return of the CEO of OpenAI was hailed as a ‘second coming’, and portrayed in messianic terms. While these events took place in the technological world, they played into apocalyptic thinking that seems to be taking over society. This suggests that humans may be reaching their limits to manage accelerating change. The failure of the board to act in the interests of investors may have been due to outgoing leadership, or possibly indicative of the clash between for-profits and non-profits. This lack of coherent governance reflected human behavior that hints at the struggle to understand exponential change rather than a robot takeover.