>We are concerned about late-stage AGI development becoming a competitive race without time for adequate safety precautions. Therefore, if a value-aligned, safety-conscious project comes close to building AGI before we do, we commit to stop competing with and start assisting this project. We will work out specifics in case-by-case agreements, but a typical triggering condition might be “a better-than-even chance of success in the next two years.”
If I'm reading that correctly, it means that later on if/when some company is obviously on the cusp of AGI, OpenAI will drop what they're doing and start helping this other company so that there isn't a haphazard race to being the first one, which could result in unsafe AGI. That sounds like a well-intentioned idea that could cause more problems in practice. For instance, if there are multiple companies with almost equal footing, then combining forces with one of them would give a sense of even stricter deadline to the other ones, possibly making the development even less safe.
Also, they only mention assisting "value-aligned, safety-conscious" projects, which seems pretty vague. Just seems like they should give (and perhaps have given) more thought into that principle.
On "value-aligned, safety conscious" projects, we wrestled a lot with this wording, but we believe it's the best way to describe our important caveats. There has to be some level of malicious use at which we wouldn't be okay cooperating with a project. And there has to be some level of neglecting safety considerations that would also make it unethical to cooperate. Our message here is that aside from these caveats, avoiding a race is the most important thing. In practice we expect (hope?) that will be many value-aligned, safety-conscious organizations, and again the conversation around these topics will play out over years rather than just being a random decision we make.
More generally, on both points our intention was to make a broad statement of values and intent, rather than to nail down precisely what actions OpenAI will take. The central document of an organization needs to be both short and flexible enough to remain relevant for many years, and that necessarily means sketching a broad framework and leaving the details to be filled in later. That said, you should expect us to fill in many of these details over time, both in explicit documents and in our actions. In fact, we are building a policy team that is focused on these issues, and it's hiring: https://jobs.lever.co/openai/638c06a8-4058-4c3d-9aef-6ee0528...
Have they defined what "AGI" is supposed to be? I can't find it on their website.
>OpenAI conducts fundamental, long-term research toward the creation of safe AGI.
What does "safe AGI" mean?
Obviously most readers would immediately think of this: "AGI that won't enslave humanity, kill millions of people as part of its optimization process, crash planes, order drones attacks on civilian sectors, etc", and escape its "cage" (whatever it was supposed to be doing)?
But that seems like a strange and poorly-defined explicit goal. And kind of early to be putting into an announcement like this. Does it really mean that - or does it mean something else, more specific - and if so, what?
I would be interested in knowing what the person who wrote that word had in mind, since I think most people would think of the Terminator series - Skynet - or The Matrix, etc, when it comes to AGI.
EDIT: To elaborate on why we should define safe! I know what "safe" means when we say "A memory-safe programming language". It's very specific. In that sentence it doesn't have anything to do with enslaving humanity, nor does anyone think it does. Here's are some articles on this exact subject: https://www.google.com/search?q=memory+safety
Further, it's pretty obvious what we mean when we say "a safe autonomous vehicle" because whether an accident occurs is pretty cut-and-dried. We have gray areas, for example is a vehicle "safe" if it's driving under the speed limit and gets into an accident through no fault of it's own, however if it had had advanced knowledge of all other vehicles heading toward the same intersection (regardless of visibility) it would not have been in that accident? Clearly a car that slows down through knowledge a human driver wouldn't have can be safer than another kind of car. But we still understand this idea of "safety" when it comes to cars.
But what does "safe" mean when we say "creation of safe AGI"?
It must mean something to be in that sentence. So why and how can you apply the word "safe" to AGI? What does it mean?
 even has a complete Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memory_safety
To anyone else here is their excellent 2016 paper linked from the above:
"Concrete Problems in AI Safety"
and direct link to 29-page PDF:
However, that PDF does not mention "AGI" even a single time, except in reference 17 "The AGI containment problem". That is actually also avaialable online here - https://arxiv.org/abs/1604.00545 but doesn't seem to be what they have in mind.
So it seems the use of the term "safe" is actually much more narrow in AI literature and probably in the mind of the person who wrote that sentence, than I as a lay reader thought of reading it applied to AGI. It's an interesting idea.
Check these out:
giving guns to terrorists doesn't make us safer. I suspect that giving AGI to terrorists wouldn't make us safer either.
Don't get wrong I'm all about cool new toys. And I get that FANG + China are pushing ahead with weaponized AI and/or AGI with or with out openAI.
Also, aim doesn't matter as much, so you wouldn't have to introduce some artificial restrictions. (Reaction time does give you a big advantage, though. You can counter a lot of things simply by reacting to voicelines in time.)