OpenAI’s AI Discovery Leads to CEO Altman’s Ousting



Key Takeaways

  • OpenAI researchers’ letter about AI discovery Q* led to CEO Altman’s firing.
  • Q* shows promise in solving mathematical problems, hinting at AGI breakthroughs.

The Catalyst Behind Altman’s Departure

A letter from OpenAI researchers, warning about a significant AI discovery named Q*, played a crucial role in the board’s decision to dismiss CEO Sam Altman. This revelation came days before Altman was briefly ousted, creating turmoil within the organization.


Q*, an AI algorithm developed by OpenAI, has shown exceptional capabilities in solving mathematical problems, indicating potential strides towards achieving artificial general intelligence (AGI). This breakthrough, although in its early stages, sparked optimism and concern among researchers, leading to the pivotal letter to the board.

Employee Backlash and Altman’s Reinstatement

Following Altman’s firing, over 700 OpenAI employees threatened to leave and join Microsoft, expressing solidarity with their former leader. This mass protest, along with the internal discord caused by the board’s decision, culminated in Altman’s return to the company.


Mira Murati, a long-standing executive at OpenAI, communicated to staff about the media reports on Q* but did not confirm their accuracy. OpenAI, maintaining discretion, has not commented on the situation or the specific contents of the researchers’ letter.

Implications of Q* and AGI Research

The development of Q*, performing mathematical tasks at a grade-school level, signifies a potential leap in the quest for AGI. This achievement by OpenAI researchers underscores the rapid advancements in AI capabilities, along with the ethical and safety considerations it entails.