“Creating God”: Mistral’s CEO Questions the Pursuit of AGI in AI Industry


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Key Takeaways:
  • Mistral AI’s CEO Arthur Mensch doubts the feasibility of achieving Artificial General Intelligence, likening it to creating a deity.
  • Mensch criticizes the dominant influence of U.S. firms in setting global AI standards and calls for more visibility for European companies.
  • He predicts AI will transform the workforce by replacing some jobs and creating new ones, supported by relaxed regulations in France on open-source AI.

The concept of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) has captivated the imagination of many in the tech world, with leading researchers and companies pushing the boundaries to develop AI that could potentially exceed human capabilities. OpenAIamong others, is at the forefront of this ambitious endeavor, seeking to create AI systems that could greatly enhance human creativity and productivity.

However, skepticism exists within the tech community regarding the realization of AGI. Arthur Mensch, CEO of Mistral AI, a leading AI provider in Europe, has expressed his reservations about the practicality and implications of achieving AGI. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Mensch articulated his concerns, stating, “The whole AGI rhetoric is about creating God.” He added, “I don’t believe in God. I am a strong atheist. So I don’t believe in AGI.”

Mensch’s unease stems from what he perceives as a “religious” fascination with AGI among his American counterparts, a pursuit he views with a critical eye. Despite the excitement around AGI, he does not see it becoming a reality or posing a threat anytime soon. Instead, Mensch points to the influence of U.S. companies in defining the global narrative and standards of artificial intelligence as a more immediate concern.

This influence, he argues, overshadows other nations’ contributions and perspectives, particularly in Europe. He believes that European AI companies need to increase their visibility and assertiveness to balance the scales of influence in the AI sector.

The potential of AI to transform workplaces is another area where Mensch sees significant impact. He predicts that AI will lead to both the elimination of some jobs and the creation of new ones that will require different skills and training. This transition, according to Mensch, could unfold within the next two years.

Supporting this transformation, France has recently made moves to relax regulations on open-source AI programs, a development that could accelerate innovation and growth in the AI sector. This policy shift is seen as a positive step towards making Mistral, and potentially other European companies, major players on the global stage. Former digital minister of France, Cédric O, commented on the potential benefits, saying, “If Mistral becomes a technology giant, it will have a positive impact on the whole of Europe.”

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