What is Project Q* that may have been a factor in Altman’s removal from OpenAI?

OpenAI and Sam Altman have been in the news for different reasons this past week, including the firing episode and much-anticipated return late Tuesday night. However, a new story emerged today when Reuters reported on a letter written by OpenAI researchers warning about a brand new AI discovery, Project Q* (or Q Star as it is called).

The latest Reuters report sheds light on this AI breakthrough that has not been reported until now. This brand new revelation also opens up debate about Altman’s intentions. It said the letter could have been one of the reasons for Altman’s dismissal.

What is Project Q*?

Based on limited information shared on Project Q* Reuters report, it looks like Altman has had a breakthrough in the company’s long quest for artificial general intelligence (AGI). Altman’s blog earlier this year described AGI as “AI systems that are generally smarter than humans.”

He also talked about how if AGI is successfully created, it could help uplift humanity by driving the global economy forward. However, Altman noted the disadvantages of this superintelligence, “AGI will also come with serious risks of misuse, serious accidents, and societal disruption.”

“Because the benefits of AGI are so great, we do not believe it is possible or desirable for society to halt its development forever; instead, society and developers of AGI need to figure out how to get it right,” Altman said in a blog From February 2023.

According to Reuters report, Project Q* could be a threat to humanity, which reminds us of the Terminator Trilogy movie. It further states that the new model that Altman was working on solved the math problems, this is where it gets interesting.

Generative AI relies on mathematical models and is broadly a subset of machine learning. Math problem solving algorithm for AI is as follows pre planned Path of resolution. To give you some context, currently, generative AI is primarily used in writing, whether it’s typing an email for a specific need or how Gmail uses it to predict your next word. The letter sent to the OpenAI board before Altman was fired highlighted the capabilities of the new AI and emphasized security concerns, which were being given low priority.

OpenAI acknowledged its employees about Project Q* following the Reuters report. However, the exact details of what this breakthrough in AI means were not revealed.

Recaping the episode of the week at OpenAI, it took several days for Sam Altman to be removed as CEO and then reinstated. In solidarity with the story of “OpenAI is nothing without its people”Several OpenAI employees threatened to quit following Altman’s sudden firing. In addition to employees, Altman also received immense support from other senior executives such as Greg Brockman, OpenAI’s then-president and co-founder. However, after negotiations with the new board, Altman rejoined as CEO.

Between being fired and reinstated, Altman also had the opportunity to join Microsoft to lead a new advanced AI research team.


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