‘What have you learned about humans?’: Cred’s Kunal Shah stumps Sam Altman with deeply philosophical query


Sam Altman is in India and is meeting some of the notable people in the world of tech and business. At a Q&A session hosted by The Economic Times, Altman faced a deep and philosophical question from Cred founder Kunal Shah. The CEO of OpenAI was visibly taken aback for a moment. The entire exchange happened over the profound implications of artificial intelligence and the future of human understanding.

“What have you learned about humans and what do you think is your understanding of humans after doing AI?” Shah asked.

Altman, known for his candid remarks, took a moment to gather his thoughts before responding. “I grew up implicitly thinking that intelligence is something really special, a human thing, somewhat magical,” he said. “I now think it is like the fundamental property of matter. That’s definitely changed my worldview.”

Drawing parallels with scientific discoveries throughout history, Altman highlighted human insignificance in the grand scheme of the cosmos. “We used to think that the sun rotated around us and that we were at the center of the Galaxy,” he said. “I feel like I’ve learned something deep, but I’m having a hard time putting it into words. Even if humans aren’t special in terms of intelligence, we are incredibly important.”

Altman emphasized the existence of something both ‘strange and important’ happening with humans. Altman concluded by expressing hope for the preservation of humanity’s essence. He said, “There’s something strange and very important going on with humans and I really deeply hope that we preserve that.” 

Shah also tried to get some business ideas from Altman as soon as he got a chance. He asked, “If you could build four more companies, what would these companies look like?”

Altman said, “I would pick the verticals I thought I knew the best and think about how AI would revolutionize them,” he responded. But then, in a twist of self-reflection, Altman added a witty twist to his answer. “So maybe the meta answer is that I should be thinking about how to use AI to make a better and faster AI company.”

Sam Altman’s India Visit

Sam Altman is on a tour encompassing various countries. Last week he tweeted saying, “Excited to visit Israel, Jordan, Qatar, the UAE, India, and South Korea this week!”

During his India visit, Altman also plans to meet PM Modi to discuss AI and its implications and applications. Additionally, the OpenAI CEO, credited with the creation of ChatGPT, will also be attending an event organised by IIIT Delhi on Thursday.