Wat is Q*? Open AI's 'Humanity Threatening' Breakthrough
Was this “superintelligence” so dangerous that it got Sam Altman fired as OpenAI’s CEO?
Sam Altman’s firing from OpenAI was as sudden and surprising as his return to the company as CEO. Within the four days between these two events, speculation abounded as to the reasons he was let go by the board of directors.
Just days before Altman was dismissed, a group of OpenAI staff researchers submitted a letter detailing the workings of a novel project called Q* (pronounced Q-Star). According to certain members of the company, Q* may be a stepping stone to an accomplishment that OpenAI calls Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), defined by the company as “an autonomous system that surpasses human capabilities in the majority of economically valuable tasks.”
In other words, the breakthrough could have led to the development of a potentially dangerous ‘superintelligence’ within the decade - one that allows AI to use computer-generated data to solve problems it has never seen before, akin to human reasoning.
An anonymous OpenAI insider has apprised Reuters that Q* was able to solve a series of math problems after being fed vast computing resources. Despite the math questions being on the level of a middle-school test, the responses augured well for the potential that Q* offers, suggesting that it could be the missing piece of the puzzle that could complete the development of AGI.
While the superintelligence is being developed, countermeasures against it are also in the works at OpenAI which will allow it to be safely used in products like ChatGPT. As one of the company’s board members spearheaded the breakthrough, some speculate that contentions around this superintelligence - and concerns over the ethical use thereof - may have led to Sam Altman’s firing. Perhaps if the superintelligence is ever released, it can suss out the truth for us.
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