Hype grows over “autonomous” AI agents that loop GPT-4 outputs

Enlarge / An AI-generated image of a “self-improving robot.” (credit: Midjourney)

Since the launch of OpenAI’s GPT-4 API last month to beta testers, a loose group of developers have been experimenting with making agent-like (“agentic”) implementations of the AI model that attempt to carry out multistep tasks with as little human intervention as possible. These homebrew scripts can loop, iterate, and spin off new instances of an AI model as needed.

Two experimental open source projects, in particular, have captured much attention on social media, especially among those who hype AI projects relentlessly: Auto-GPT, created by Toran Bruce Richards, and BabyAGI, created by Yohei Nakajima.

What do they do? Well, right now, not very much. They need a lot of human input and hand-holding along the way, so they’re not yet as autonomous as promised. But they represent early steps toward more complex chaining AI models that could potentially be more capable than a single AI model working alone.

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