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Inside the White-Hot Center of A.I. Doomerism

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Dario Amodei, chief executive of Anthropic.

Despite its small size—just 160 employees—and its low profile, Anthropic is one of the world’s leading A.I. research labs, and a formidable rival to giants like Google and Meta.

Credit: Massimo Berruti/The New York Times

It's a few weeks before the release of Claude, a new A.I. chatbot from the artificial intelligence start-up Anthropic, and the nervous energy inside the company's San Francisco headquarters could power a rocket.

At long cafeteria tables dotted with Spindrift cans and chessboards, harried-looking engineers are putting the finishing touches on Claude's new, ChatGPT-style interface, code-named Project Hatch.

Nearby, another group is discussing problems that could arise on launch day. (What if a surge of new users overpowers the company's servers? What if Claude accidentally threatens or harasses people, creating a Bing-style P.R. headache?)

Down the hall, in a glass-walled conference room, Anthropic's chief executive, Dario Amodei, is going over his own mental list of potential disasters.

From The New York Times
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