Artificial Intelligence: A Powerful AI Discovery Triggered The Tumult At OpenAI (Reuters)

The OpenAI discovery could potentially threaten humanity. (Reuters Exclusive)

Several OpenAI staff researchers sent a letter to the board of directors, warning of a potent AI discovery with potential threats to humanity, which ultimately led to the ousting of CEO Sam Altman, according to a Reuters Exclusive. The letter highlighted an AI algorithm, Q* (pronounced Q-Star), as a catalyst for Altman’s removal.

Although the exact content of the letter remains undisclosed, it was a contributing factor to a list of grievances leading to Altman’s firing. Over 700 employees had threatened to quit in solidarity with Altman before his return. Mira Murati, a long-time executive, informed employees that the letter about the AI breakthrough was a key factor in the board’s decision.


Q*, a development within ChatGPT, was seen as a potential breakthrough in OpenAI’s pursuit of artificial general intelligence (AGI), surpassing human intelligence. The model showcased promising capabilities in solving certain mathematical problems, generating optimism among researchers about its future success.

However, Reuters could not independently verify Q*’s claimed capabilities.

This revelation sheds light on the internal dynamics and concerns within OpenAI, contributing to Altman’s temporary removal.

Absolute power?

Separately, corporate governance experts and analysts are concerned that Sam Altman’s return as OpenAI’s CEO is expected to consolidate his influence over the company, potentially reducing checks on his power as the organization introduces groundbreaking technology.

Altman’s triumphant comeback, the ouster of the previous board, the support of powerful investors such as Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and private equity players, and the massive backing of the company’s employees may together reduce an OpenAI board of directors to a mere ‘rubber stamp.’

If OpenAI is indeed closer to AGI, this situation is worrisome, because in the words of Gartner analyst Jason Wong, Altman “can no longer do no wrong.”

Related Story: Sam Altman And The OpenAI Board Discuss His Return (Update: He’s Back With New Board)

Image of Sam Altman: Flickr

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