OpenAI: An AI breakthrough might have caused Sam Altman's temporary departure

OpenAI: An AI breakthrough might have caused Sam Altman's temporary departure


23 November 2023

Only a few days ago, people were concerned about the future of OpenAI, when the company's board of directors abruptly fired CEO Sam Altman. A fresh, unsubstantiated allegation indicates that before the board removed Altman, its members were issued a letter by a number of OpenAI team members suggesting that the company's recent AI breakthrough may have some serious safety risks.

According to unidentified sources, a group of OpenAI staff revealed this AI breakthrough in the letter as part of a number of problems they raised to the board. After a turbulent few days following his dismissal by the board, Altman was reinstated earlier this week, and the company's board members mostly resigned in favor of a new and larger board.

Reuters acknowledges that it had not read the reported letter and was unable to obtain a response from the staff members who wrote it. OpenAI did not respond either. Reuters claims, again citing unidentified sources, that a memo sent by the company's chief technology officer Mira Murati references a project dubbed Q* (pronounced Q-Star), which might be the AI breakthrough cited in the letter.

Reuters has further unsubstantiated information about the Q* project. claimed that it could solve mathematical problems on its own. It went on to say:

In their letter to the board, researchers flagged AI’s prowess and potential danger, the sources said without specifying the exact safety concerns noted in the letter. There has long been discussion among computer scientists about the danger posed by highly intelligent machines, for instance if they might decide that the destruction of humanity was in their interest.

As is customary with unidentified source stories, take this one with a grain of salt.

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