The founder of Wikipedia: AI can turn into a “Superman” within 50 years

ChatGPT, the wildly popular artificial intelligence (AI) service from OpenAI, is currently a “mess” when used to write Wikipedia articles, says platform founder Jimmy Wales.

A Wikipedia article written today with ChatGPT-4 is “terrible” and “doesn’t work at all,” he says, because it “really misses a lot and gets things wrong, and messes things up in a believable way”. He even goes so far as to predict that for AI to have superhuman values, it will take 50 years of development.

But while he believes it’s possible for AI to surpass human capabilities in the distant future, it’s more likely that AI tools will continue to support intellectual pursuits, despite being at an early stage for now.

Despite his criticism of current generative AI models, Wales has not ruled out using AI for Wikipedia. “It’s a real problem and obviously we feel such a huge responsibility that the world depends on Wikipedia and AI models depend on Wikipedia.”

He said that if a tool was built to find errors in a Wikipedia article by comparing it to the sources it uses, it could help eliminate inaccuracies. He even said he would consider Wikipedia collaborating with an open-source AI company that could be used freely to match Wikipedia’s principles, but clarified that there is nothing specific at the moment. However, he says this would be a decision that would not be taken lightly.

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