OpenAI discovery: what is the Q* project that “puts humanity at risk”

Elizabeth Smith

What do we really know about what happened in the four-day exile of OpenAI’s ceo Sam Altman, about to move to Microsoft? And what is really behind this, what secrets does it carry? We had previously reported that Altman’s (returned) dismissal could represent an earthquake for artificial intelligence. But, as it turns out, an ‘earthquake’ is already underway.

The reference is to a ‘surprise’ revelation by Reuters that, citing sources, ‘prior to Sam Altman’s torpedoing from OpenAI last Friday (which lasted just five days), some researchers had sent a letter to the company’s board of directors warning about a breakthrough in artificial intelligence that could threaten humanity.’

OpenAI employee alert letter behind Altman’s dismissal

The reference is to a new artificial intelligence – codenamed Q* (pronounced Q-Star) – that the company is reportedly ready to commercialize.

“The new Q* model has fueled safety concerns among staff. With workers expressing their fears to the board prior to the Ceo’s dismissal.

Prior to Sam Altman’s return to the role of Ceo, more than 700 OpenAI employees had threatened resignation earlier this week unless the board resigned and reinstated Altman and Greg Brockman, the chairman who left the company in controversy.

According to Reuters sources, this letter may have been one of the factors that later led to Altman’s dismissal. According to one of the sources, longtime executive Mira Murati told employees on Wednesday that a letter about the artificial intelligence breakthrough called Q* accelerated the board’s actions.

Progress on Q* and the risk of IA escaping human control

The creator of ChatGPT has made progress on Q, which some internally believe could be a breakthrough in the startup’s quest for superintelligence, also known as artificial general intelligence (AGI), one of the sources told Reuters.

The Q model was able to solve basic math problems never seen before, according to the technology news site Information, which added that the pace of development behind the system had alarmed some security researchers. The ability to solve math problems would be seen as a significant development in artificial intelligence.

Many experts fear that companies such as OpenAI, The Guardian points out, are moving too fast toward the development of artificial general intelligence (AGI), an intelligence that could, in theory, escape human control.

Read also: The 10 most influential people in the field of AI

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