Unveiling the ‘Q*’: OpenAI’s Crisis and the Potential Threat of Advanced Artificial Intelligence


According to reliable sources mentioned in a recent report by Reuters, a group of researchers from OpenAI sent a letter to the company’s advisory board, highlighting a “significant discovery” in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) that could pose a threat to humanity. This revelation came just a few days before the return of Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, after a period of absence. The primary factors leading to Altman’s dismissal were related to two main developments: the introduction of a powerful AI algorithm and the implementation of an innovative system referred to as “the card.” As news of Altman’s potential firing spread, over 700 employees of OpenAI expressed their willingness to resign in solidarity and potentially join forces with Microsoft, a rival technology company. However, Microsoft remained relatively unaffected by the OpenAI crisis and continued to thrive.

To mitigate the risk of their investments being impacted by the turmoil within OpenAI, other major technology corporations promptly took action. It is believed that one of the reasons behind Altman’s dismissal was the content of the letter, which evidently expressed concerns regarding the premature commercialization of AI advancements before fully comprehending the potential consequences. Unfortunately, the specific contents of the letter were not made available for Reuters to scrutinize, and the employees who wrote the letter chose not to provide any feedback upon being approached. OpenAI, initially declining to comment on the matter, eventually acknowledged the existence of a project internally named “Q*” through an internal memo sent by executive Mira Murati to employees and a letter addressed to management before the situation escalated over the weekend. OpenAI’s spokesperson vaguely indicated that the memo alerted the team to some media reports without elaborating further.

Certain employees of OpenAI speculate that the “Q*” project, which is pronounced as Q-Star, could be a crucial step forward in the company’s pursuit of artificial general intelligence (AGI). OpenAI defines AGI as systems capable of outperforming humans in most financially valuable tasks, making it a significant milestone in AI development. According to sources, the new model associated with the “Q*” project has already shown promise in solving specific mathematical problems, primarily due to its access to vast computational resources. Despite the fact that the model has only been tested on elementary school-level mathematical calculations, researchers remain optimistic about the future potential of the “Q*” project. The perception is that this development could pave the way for progress in various scientific studies.

Researchers in the field of artificial intelligence regard mathematics as a frontier in the development of creative AI. The current state of generative AI, which excels in writing and translating texts using statistical predictions, often yields different answers to the same question. However, if AI can master more concrete tasks, such as accounting, which typically possess only one correct answer, it would demonstrate a level of reasoning comparable to that of human intelligence. This advancement in AI capabilities could have significant implications across various scientific disciplines.

Artificial general intelligence (AGI) represents a type of intelligence that encompasses generalization, learning, and comprehension, contrasting with the limited capabilities of calculators and similar tools that can only perform a predetermined set of operations. Although sources indicate that the researchers mentioned potential security concerns related to AI in their letter to the advisory board, they did not provide specific details regarding these concerns. The risks associated with superintelligent machines have long been debated in the scientific community, with discussions ranging from the hypothetical decision of such machines to potentially harm humanity if given the opportunity.

Furthermore, the existence of an esteemed group referred to as the “AI Scientists Team” has been confirmed by multiple sources. This highly skilled team, formed by combining the previously separate “Code Gen” and “Math Gen” teams, is dedicated to enhancing existing AI models, with an ultimate goal of increasing their reasoning capabilities in order to facilitate scientific endeavors.

Altman, as the CEO of OpenAI, played a crucial role in propelling the growth of ChatGPT, a revolutionary AI application that garnered unprecedented popularity. His efforts attracted significant investments and computational resources from Microsoft, bringing OpenAI closer to their vision of achieving AGI. During a recent demonstration, Altman unveiled numerous new tools and technologies, while also sharing his belief in the imminent breakthroughs in AI. Addressing a gathering of global leaders in San Francisco, he expressed his profound professional pride in being a part of such groundbreaking advancements. He emphasized, “Being able to do this is the professional honor of a lifetime.” Altman also highlighted his involvement in pivotal moments throughout OpenAI’s history, where ignorance was overcome and new frontiers of discovery emerged.

Surprisingly, the day after Altman’s passionate speech, OpenAI’s leadership made the decision to terminate his employment. The reasons behind this sudden dismissal remain undisclosed. Nevertheless, it is evident that OpenAI is currently experiencing a significant shake-up, as the fallout from Altman’s departure continues to unfold.