The Wall Street JournalThe Wall Street Journal

The contradictions of Sam Altman, AI crusader

By Berber Jin, Keach Hagey

31 Mar 2023 · 13 min read

Sam Altman, the founder of OpenAI, dreams of a future in which computers can converse and learn like humans. But he fears the consequences of a reckless rollout. An insightful portrait by the WSJ.

Curated by informed

Sam Altman, the 37-year-old startup-minting guru at the forefront of the artificial intelligence boom, has long dreamed of a future in which computers could converse and learn like humans.

One of his clearest childhood memories is sitting up late in his bedroom in suburban St. Louis, playing with the Macintosh LC II he had gotten for his eighth birthday when he had the sudden realization: “Someday, the computer was going to learn to think,” he said.

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