Mr Altman also told students that Rishi Sunak’s summit had generated more agreement than he had expected on the need to develop AI safely. He said that a global regulatory body for AI would be needed in the future.
He said it would be unfeasible to stop AI being developed, but that the advantages of the technology mean we should not want to.
Mr Altman has previously lamented a lack of innovation among young people.
He recently told a podcast: “I was a start-up investor for a long time and it often was the case that the very best startup founders were in their early or mid 20s or late 20s. Now, they skew much older.”
Mr Altman’s speech was disrupted by protesters who hung signs above him saying the technology “threatens democracy and humanity”.
ChatGPT, launched by OpenAI less than a year ago, has driven many of the warnings about rapid improvements in technology. He has said the technology could lead to “lights out for all of us” but could also lead to an age of abundance for humans.
OpenAI, which has received heavy financial backing from Microsoft, aims to create artificial general intelligence, the point at which AI matches human capabilities.
He told his audience in Cambridge that today’s in-vogue technology, known as large language models, was unlikely to be sufficient to reach the goal.