The Unceasing AI Hype: A Reflection on Uncertainty

The OpenAI Drama Unfolds

After the whirlwind, unprecedented OpenAI drama of the past 10 days — in which the OpenAI board fired CEO Sam Altman; replaced him in the interim with CTO Mira Murati; president Greg Brockman quit; nearly all OpenAI employees threatened to resign; and Altman was reinstated the day before Thanksgiving — I was certain that the US holiday weekend would be the perfect opportunity for Silicon Valley to take a break from AI hype and relax over turkey and stuffing. It was not to be.

At dawn on Thanksgiving day, Reuters reported that before Altman was temporarily exiled, several of its researchers wrote a letter to the board of directors warning of a “powerful artificial intelligence discovery that they said could threaten humanity.” The news went viral just as people were sitting down to turkey-laden tables from Palo Alto to Cerebral Valley.

“The fact that there was zero pause in the AI news and social media cycle between the OpenAI boardroom soap opera and the Q* discussions made me wonder: what’s really behind the nonstop AI hype cycle?”

– AI journalist

The Q* Breakthrough

Apparently, the project, called Q*, was believed to possibly be a breakthrough in the efforts to build AGI (artificial general intelligence). According to Reuters, the new model “was able to solve certain mathematical problems” and “though only performing math on the level of grade-school students, acing such tests made researchers very optimistic about Q*’s future success.”

“Sure, there’s some intellectual excitement, I suppose, as well as the usual media competition for the latest gossip and the next viral headline. There’s likely plenty of anticipatory greed, self-promotional messaging and typical human arrogance at play, too.”

– Nvidia AI scientist, Jim Fan
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts