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OpenAI ‘was working on advanced model so powerful it alarmed staff’

According to reports, OpenAI had been developing a highly advanced system prior to Sam Altman’s dismissal. The system was so powerful that it raised safety concerns among the company’s staff.

According to Reuters, the OpenAI researchers were so concerned about the potential threat to humanity posed by the artificial intelligence model that they wrote a letter to the board of directors before Altman’s dismissal.

According to the tech news site The Information, a new model called Q* (pronounced as “Q-Star”) has demonstrated the ability to solve unfamiliar math problems. This development has raised concerns among safety researchers due to the rapid pace of progress in the system. The capacity to solve math problems is considered a noteworthy advancement in artificial intelligence.

After a period of chaos, OpenAI’s board removed Altman on Friday but later rehired him on Tuesday due to the overwhelming majority of the company’s 750 employees threatening to quit if he was not reinstated. Altman had backing from Microsoft, the company’s main investor.

Some professionals are worried about the rapid progress being made by organizations like OpenAI in creating artificial general intelligence (AGI). This refers to a system capable of completing a diverse range of tasks with intelligence on par or surpassing that of humans, which could potentially be difficult for humans to manage.

According to Andrew Rogoyski from the University of Surrey’s Institute for People-Centred AI, the development of a large language model (LLM) capable of solving math problems would be a significant advancement. He believes that the natural math-solving abilities of LLMs will open up a wide range of analytical capabilities for AI.

On the Thursday prior to his unexpected dismissal, Altman mentioned that the creators of ChatGPT had achieved a new advancement.

At the APEC summit, he stated that he has had the opportunity to witness four instances with OpenAI where they have pushed the boundaries of knowledge and progress, including a recent occurrence in the past few weeks. This has been a great professional privilege for him.

A commercial subsidiary, overseen by Altman, was established alongside OpenAI, a nonprofit venture with a governing board. The for-profit business received significant investment from Microsoft. In order for Altman to return, a new board will be formed with Bret Taylor, previously co-CEO of Salesforce, as chair.

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According to the creator of ChatGPT, the purpose of its development is to create a “safe and beneficial” artificial general intelligence for the betterment of humankind. The company, although for-profit, is obligated to uphold the nonprofit’s mission.

There were rumors that Altman was fired from the nonprofit due to his prioritization of safety. However, his temporary replacement, Emmett Shear, clarified that the board did not dismiss Sam due to a particular disagreement on safety.

OpenAI was requested to provide a comment.

Source: theguardian.com