Opinion

What if Dario Amodei Is Right About A.I.?

Produced by ‘The Ezra Klein Show’

Back in 2018, Dario Amodei worked at OpenAI. And looking at one of its first A.I. models, he wondered: What would happen as you fed an artificial intelligence more and more data?

He and his colleagues decided to study it, and they found that the A.I. didn’t just get better with more data; it got better exponentially. The curve of the A.I.’s capabilities rose slowly at first and then shot up like a hockey stick.

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Amodei is now the chief executive of his own A.I. company, Anthropic, which recently released Claude 3 — considered by many to be the strongest A.I. model available. And he still believes A.I. is on an exponential growth curve, following principles known as scaling laws. And he thinks we’re on the steep part of the climb right now.

When I’ve talked to people who are building A.I., scenarios that feel like far-off science fiction end up on the horizon of about the next two years. So I asked Amodei on the show to share what he sees in the near future. What breakthroughs are around the corner? What worries him the most? And how are societies that struggle to adapt to change and governments that are slow to react to them supposed to prepare for the pace of change he predicts? What does that line on his graph mean for the rest of us?

This episode contains strong language.

You can listen to our whole conversation by following “The Ezra Klein Show” on the NYT Audio App, Apple, Spotify, Google or wherever you get your podcasts. View a list of book recommendations from our guests here.

(A full transcript of this episode is available here.)

Credit…Illustration by The New York Times; photograph by Dario Amodei

This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Rollin Hu. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Annie Galvin, Kristin Lin and Aman Sahota. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Sonia Herrero.

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