[short-fuse 💣] Does my mom know who Sam Altman is?
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resolved Apr 21
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YES
Considering almost none of my friends knew, I think it's very unlikely
I think Sam Altman is much more of a household name than we think. I asked my students who Andrej Karpathy was, and I think 2/40 knew. Then I asked if they knew who Sam Altman was, and they all laughed as if it was a ridiculous question and everyone knew. Ofc, biased sample, but still.
I just asked a table of people at a dinner which included: My parents (one doctor and one retired but very interested in politics) A software dev intern Director at Deloitte 1 nurse 1 admin health No one had any idea whatsoever. I was very surprised.
I’m calling my mom around 1pm ET today! Final call

I’ve done this type of market once before (attached below), and my mom said she’d be willing to do it again. Does my mom know who Sam Altman is?

I will call my mom on Sunday and ask her a simple question, “Mom, who is Sam Altman?”. If she says, “The CEO of OpenAI”, easy YES. If she says, “I have no idea”, easy NO. Any other factoid she may give will give partial credit (I won’t be betting here as this is subjective).

How much of a household name is SamA?

Some facts that may influence your betting:

  • My mom turns 70 next year, and has been a classical musician for her whole professional life.

  • She watches ABC local [Philly] and national news every morning and evening.

  • I wouldn’t say she knows much about tech, though I work for a fairly large tech company (not OpenAI). She does know who Elon Musk is, and hates him (though my dad recently bought a Tesla).

Previous market, where my mom IMMEDIATELY got “Travis Kelce’s team” for the Chiefs:

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This is my favorite market on this site in a while

  • [me] Are you ready?

  • [mom] Yes

  • [me] I’m taking notes again. I’m going to ask you one question. Dad can’t help, and you can’t use the internet. Ready?

  • [mom] Is it another sports question?

  • [me] No. It’s something different

  • [mom] I’m ready

  • [me] Who is Sam Altman?

  • [mom] Spell the last name

  • [me] A-L-T-M-A-N

  • [mom] He’s the head of… um… AI… the ChatGPT… that AI thing. He’s the head of, I forget the company. Does that count?

  • [me] YES! 100%.

  • [mom] Thank you.

  • [me] Do you want to guess at the name of the company?

  • [mom] ChatGPT? SomethingAI

  • [me] OpenAI.

  • [mom] I just missed one word. hahaha

  • [me] I said, “invented ChatGPT counts”

  • [mom] What do I win?

  • [me] What do you want to win?

  • [mom] Your love.

  • [me] Awwww. This is making the transcript.

end of transcript

I asked her how she heard of him and she said “he’s all over the news. i think he’s better than Sam Bankman-Fried.”

Y’all (myself included) set you (our) expectations too low. I’m going to do this again, and we’ll pick someone/something harder in tech!

@mattyb Wow! Cool mom, very informed

@mattyb next do Linus Torvalds

@mattyb How about Eliezer Yudkowsky haha?

@mattyb This is not wholesome, it is the bullshit. Next time, I am needing the audio transcript. She knew sports because of the local news shows, there is no way she is knowing this sam, he is not making such news stories, it is the flyover country. On top of the bullshit cake, you are putting the icing with comparing to SBF? Come on with this!!! GTFO>

@Mirek Dude it's not like you bet your life savings on this

@TheAllMemeingEye Listen to me. Listen close. PRINCIPAL. It is the principal of it all! Especially if I am sniffing and it is not passing the sniff test! Maybe I will consider it a write-off, but let's not forget it. I hope you are understanding it!!!

@Mirek want to bet?

@Mirek lol, what a sore loser. sorry i got a smart mom that raised me to follow the news.

@mattyb careful - a troll's appetite is never sated once you start feeding them lol

@shankypanky the typing is honestly the worst part of these all. i may record the next one…. (with permission ofc)

@mattyb Can you do a Manifold TV call livestream event, please? We need this 👀

And congrats for having such a great mom ❤

@Lion oof, maybe for like the 10th one

@mattyb I asked 6 old friends back in my hometown, my sister, and my mum, not a single one knew who Sam Altman is. Congrats to your mum!

@Mirek The principal? This is a prediction market, not a school. We have admins and developers, not a principal.

(In all seriousness, you're looking for the word "principle").

The way I was taught to remember is “in principle, the principal is your ‘pal.’”

Reading it now I’m wondering if I had a jaded Language Arts teacher. 😂

@ShadowyZephyr English is not my first mother tongue so I am trying always. I will remember it this way, thanks for the tip on it!

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