Reuters exclusive: OpenAi given serious warning before Altman ouster

A discovery that threatens humanity was developed at a leading AI company

by Sededin Dedovic
Reuters exclusive: OpenAi given serious warning before Altman ouster
© Sky News Australia / Youtube channel

Reuters exclusively reported this morning that OpenAI's board of directors received a very serious warning a few days before CEO Sam Altman was replaced. Let us remind you that the head of management of OpenAI, the key company for the development of artificial intelligence behind ChatGPT, was suddenly dismissed for four days, and yesterday it was announced that he is returning to the same position.

A great powerful discovery

Reuters reported this morning that several OpenAI researchers had written a letter to the company's board of directors warning of a powerful artificial intelligence (AI) breakthrough they said could threaten humanity, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

That previously unreported letter and the development of an artificial intelligence algorithm were key events leading up to the ouster of Altman, considered by many to be the father of generative AI, two of the sources said.

Before his return to Open AI yesterday, more than 700 employees threatened to quit and join the Microsoft founder in solidarity with their fired leader. Reuters' sources described the letter as one factor in a longer list of board complaints that led to Altman's ouster, which included concerns about commercializing AI development before the ramifications were fully understood.

Reuters was unable to review a copy of the letter, and the staff who wrote the letter did not respond to requests for comment. When contacted by Reuters, OpenAI, which declined to comment on the letter, confirmed in an internal memo to staff the project, called Q*, and the letter to management before Altman was fired, one of the sources said.

An OpenAI spokesperson said the message, sent by longtime director Mira Murati, alerted staff to certain media stories but did not comment on their accuracy.

Artificial general intelligence

Some at OpenAI believe the Q* project could be a sign of significant progress in the pursuit of what is known as artificial general intelligence (AGI), one source told Reuters.

OpenAI defines AGI as autonomous systems that outperform humans in most economically valuable tasks. With the help of large computing resources, the new model was able to solve certain mathematical problems, said the person on condition of anonymity because the person is not authorized to speak on behalf of the company.

Although the math was only performed at the level of elementary school students, solving such tests made the researchers very optimistic about the future success of Q*, the source said. Reuters could not independently confirm the Q* capabilities described by the researchers. Unlike a calculator that can solve a limited number of operations, AGI can generalize, learn and understand.