In a stunning change of events, researchers at OpenAI are said to have written a letter to the board of directors warning against a potentially devastating artificial intelligence breakthrough that would endanger humankind. Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI and a well-known authority in generative AI, was fired in part due to this disclosure.
The letter expressed worries about a novel AI system called Q* and is yet unknown to the public. This development added to a growing series of complaints that finally resulted in Altman’s dismissal, combined with concerns about hurriedly commercializing breakthroughs without considering their potential ramifications.
While details of the letter’s contents remain undisclosed, sources suggest that the researchers raised alarms about the capabilities and potential dangers associated with Q*. OpenAI, in response to media inquiries, acknowledged the existence of the letter and the Q* project in an internal message to staff.
Q* is believed by some within OpenAI to be a potential breakthrough in the quest for artificial general intelligence (AGI), defined as autonomous systems surpassing human abilities in economically valuable tasks. The algorithm reportedly demonstrated proficiency in solving mathematical problems at the level of grade-school students, marking a significant step forward in generative AI development.
The ability to perform mathematical tasks is considered a frontier in AI development, as it implies greater reasoning capabilities akin to human intelligence. Researchers expressed optimism about Q*’s future success, envisioning applications in novel scientific research.
The letter also flagged broader safety concerns associated with AI’s growing prowess. With discussions ongoing about the potential dangers posed by highly intelligent machines, the researchers emphasized the need for cautious development and deployment of advanced AI technologies.
Altman, who played a pivotal role in OpenAI’s growth and secured crucial resources from Microsoft, faced criticism from the board, ultimately resulting in his dismissal. The disclosure of the letter and concerns surrounding Q* shed light on the complex landscape of AI development, where ethical considerations and the potential for unintended consequences play a significant role in shaping the industry’s future.