April 24, 2024

Microsoft President Dismisses AI Safety Fears After OpenAI Chaos

While the recent ousting of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and his dramatic return to the position sparked speculations over AI safety that led to the chaos, Microsoft President Brad Smith dismissed such fears.

Altman, a co-founder of OpenAI, had a major role in the launch of ChatGPT and had secured funding worth $13 billion from Microsoft.

While addressing the reasons that led to the sudden dismissal of Altman, he stated that the controversy “wasn’t fundamentally about a concern like that”.

Interestingly, Microsoft is the primary investor in OpenAI, holding a 49% stake in the company. The tech giant had not only offered Altman a position within their ranks but had a major hand in Altman’s return to his position as the CEO of OpenAI.

In the past, eminent figures in the tech industry, including Elon Musk, had suggested that Altman’s ousting was possibly the result of an issue over AI safety. Over the last week, there have been several reports suggesting a “dangerous” discovery that sparked the chaos.

I think what’s more important is there’s a new board in place. The partnership between OpenAI and Microsoft is as strong as ever.Brad Smith

The board has yet to comment on the initial dismissal of Altman, only stating that there were no consistent and candid communications between them, which led to a loss of confidence in his leadership.

Fears Over The Q* Algorithm Led To The Chaos: Initial Reports

Just before Altman’s firing from OpenAI, a letter surfaced that issued a warning regarding the discovery of a potentially harmful AI algorithm called Q*, which could possibly surpass human capabilities.

As the situation intensified, internal chaos within OpenAI and disagreements with other board members led to the ousting of the CEO.

Reports indicate that the Q* project is a potential breakthrough for OpenAI in its pursuit of AGI (artificial general intelligence). The model was capable of solving school-level mathematical problems and had further potential to be tapped. Amidst internal challenges, this project came under increasing scrutiny, leading to the dismissal of Altman over disagreements, as per reports.

Microsoft’s Offer to Recruit Altman Further Complicated the Scene

Following Altman’s temporary outing, Microsoft immediately offered Altman a position in their ranks to lead an advanced research team. This further complicated the situation, and then suddenly Altman returned to OpenAI amidst a company-wide revolt.

Incidentally, more than 700 loyal OpenAI threatened to switch to Microsoft from OpenAI unless their CEO was called back.

While speaking at an event in London where Microsoft announced a £2.5 billion investment in advanced data centers to spearhead futuristic AI innovations, the Microsoft President focused on the scope where the UK could benefit from the major tech giants like Google and Microsoft.

Smith also addressed fears that AI will surpass human intelligence by the next year, stating that such a scenario had “absolutely no probability”.

He added that AI has a long way to go before it can beat human intelligence, and this could take years if not decades.

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