It took Facebook four years to reach 100 million users. ChatGPT, released in November 2022, did it in two months. The simple text box was unlike anything experienced before. It could craft poems, write screenplays and letters of condolence, and tell jokes. It told one writer that it was in love with him and another that it had spied on Microsoft’s programmers through their webcams.
But this is just the beginning. Things are going to get much, much worse, as Google and Microsoft compete to monetize this rapidly evolving technology. The danger isn’t that humanity is going to be eliminated as in Terminator or The Matrix; no, the danger is that these untested, rapidly evolving technologies will undermine our way of life more insidiously, sucking value out of our economy, replacing high-level creative jobs and enabling a new, terrifying era of disinformation.
It was never meant to be this way. The founders of the two companies behind the most advanced AIs in existence – San Francisco-based OpenAI and London-based DeepMind – started their journeys determined to solve humanity’s greatest problems. But they couldn’t develop their technologies without huge amounts of money and that much money comes with obligations – the kind that Google and Microsoft plan to make back a hundred-fold.
Supremacy is the astonishing, untold, behind-the-scenes story of the battle between these two AI companies, their struggles to use their tech for good, and the dangerous direction that they’re now going in. It's a story of manipulation, exploitation, secrecy and perhaps the greatest invention in technological history - but, above all, it's a story of ruthless, relentless human progress, and how it will impact all of us for years to come.