We are all under an umbrella of worry about AI. Some of this is legitimate, when it comes to fraud, deepfakes, discrimination, and harmful abuse.
But other aspects of the fear of AI, such as eliminating our jobs, or replacing our thinking and creativity, are mostly just manufactured perceptions.
Much of the worry and uncertainty has been perpetuated by the mainstream media, fed by a lot of hype and hyperbole.
Indirectly at least, the fear of AI has also been emanating from OpenAI and others building generative AI products. (OpenAI is the maker of ChatGPT and DALL-E, among other widely known generative AI products).
They want us to have the conviction that we need to embrace AI right now – lest it takes control of us, and by then it’s too late to do anything about it.
Using FOMO (fear of missing out) as a selling tactic
The messaging of urgency and fear from OpenAI (and others) is partly aimed at us as individuals.
However, the REAL focus of their communication are big business customers.
OpenAI, as you may well know, is at the epicenter of the generative AI craze that’s been taking hold since the release of ChatGPT late November 2022.
OpenAI REALLY wants corporations and enterprises, especially the Fortune 500 to commit IMMEDIATELY to adopting ChatGPT, in exchange for forking over big money, like six or seven figures a year.
To get big business to buy into ChatGPT, enticement is needed in the form of FOMO (fear of missing out), plus a little extra something by talking up the impact of jobs by generative AI – an indirect way of promoting AI as a golden opportunity to save on human capital.
OpenAI wants corporations to jump into generative AI right now, even if the product is far from perfect, riddled with hallucinations and inaccuracies. They’re trying to convince businesses that it’s ABSOLUTELY necessary to jump in now, or they risk losing out to their competition.
That’s a classic selling tactic through FOMO.
AI doomsaying is absolutely everywhere right now. Which is exactly the way that OpenAI, the company that stands to benefit the most from everyone believing its product has the power to remake — or unmake — the world, wants it.
Brian Merchant, Los Angeles Times
The likely truth? OpenAI is well-aware that AI isn’t coming for our jobs anytime soon. AI simply isn’t anywhere near developed or advanced to make that happen. But they’re not exactly coming out and saying that, either.
So without being explicit, the mainstream media is left with speculation, often making wild predictions about jobs, and scaring everyone in the process, while OpenAI, venture capitalists, and others sit idly by and watch it all unfold.
OpenAI needs revenue, fast!
It is no secret that AI platforms are insanely expensive to run and maintain. It’s also incredibly costly to develop AI products.
OpenAI is reported to have doubled its losses in 2022 to over half a billion dollars developing ChatGPT, and is said to consider raising as much as $100 billion over the coming years.
Developing future GPT products will surely require massive infusions of capital well beyond what they’re currently bringing in.
In other words, they’re bleeding money fast, and really need more, soon. They need to accelerate revenues (currently in the hundreds of millions per year) to justify higher valuations which would attract new investors and bring in substantially more infusions of capital.
So once you understand where, and why generative AI companies are aiming their messaging of fear, uncertainty, and doubt – you should be able to rest a little easier.
I am Perry Sun, a product marketing professional, and this is my personal blog. I like to write about content creation, personal development, and technology. Please visit my website to learn more about me.