Marc Andreessen is optimistic about our future with AI Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
As a venture capitalist, Marc Andreessen spends much of his time listening to young entrepreneurs explain their plans for shaping the future. As a parent, he helps his 8-year-old son prepare for the future by teaching him how to use artificial intelligence.
Andreessen, co-founder of VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, said in an episode of Joe Rogan Experience out this week that he set up his son with ChatGPT on his laptop. Then he showed him how to use it to learn about the world.
“One of the fun things you can do with ChatGPT is you can say, ‘Explain X to me,'” he noted. “Then you can say, ‘Explain X to me like I’m 15.’ And then you can do it like I’m 10, then you can do it like I’m 5. It works until about the age of 3. So you can do, “Explain quantum mechanics to me like I’m a three-year-old.” And it will. And so I taught him how to do it. You can adjust it up or down.”
What surprised him, he said, was his son’s reaction, who just shrugged and replied, “Okay.”
“And I was like, ‘No, this is a big deal.’ They didn’t do that before. It’s working now, and that’s amazing,” said Andreessen. His son’s response, he said, was, “Well, it’s a computer. Of course you ask him questions and he gives answers. What else is it for?”
“Children will simply have a completely different perspective on this,” said Andreessen. “It will be perfectly normal.”
AI as an ally
He also reflected on the fact that his child will grow up with AI and vice versa.
“The AI that my 8-year-old will have when he’s 20 will have 12 years of experience with him,” he said. “And so it will have grown with him. It will know everything he’s ever done. It will know everything he has ever done well. It will know everything he did that required real effort. It will know what it is good at. It will know what it is not good at. It will know how to teach it. It will know how to correct its limitations. It will know how to maximize its strengths. It will know what it wants.”
As kids who grow up with AI go to college or enter the workforce, “they have an ally by their side,” Andreessen continued. “You will basically have a partner whose goal in life is to make you as happy, content, and successful as possible.”
Andreessen has a more optimistic view of AI than critics, who some fear will destroy humanity or somehow take control of it. Last month, he wrote a much-discussed manifesto about why artificial intelligence won’t destroy humanity, but will make the world a fundamentally better place. And on the Lex Fridman Podcast, he noted that with AI, “your ability to both learn and produce” is significantly higher than in the past, advising young listeners to use this to stand out from the crowd and become “hyperproductive people.”